The annual Allen and Company conference, which kicks off this week in Sun Valley, is notably secretive. But one place that isn’t so quiet before and after the conference is the airport.
For Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Airport, this is the busiest week of the year. High-powered executives like Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerburg historically descend on Sun Valley for the conference put on by a New York investment firm.
And the airport is dealing with the juggling act of organizing arrivals and departures to get the attendees’ private planes in safely.
“Traffic jam is one way to put it,” says airport manager Chris Pomeroy. Pomeroy says the staff starts logistical planning for this week months in advance. And lately they’ve called in some backup from Salt Lake City to monitor air traffic.
“Something that we’ve been doing the last three years, is working with the FAA Salt Lake air traffic control center.”
The official number of planes that have landed is not currently available, but Pomeroy says it's usually about double the traffic of an average summer day. Most of that increase can be explained by the influx of privately owned multi-million dollar jets landing for the conference.
Often the airport runs out of parking spaces for these jets, so pilots have to drop off their passengers and then fly to Twin Falls or Boise for overflow parking.
Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen
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