AP NEWS

Jackson Hole Airport board to vote on helicopter tour permit

March 11, 2020 GMT

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — The board overseeing an airport in western Wyoming will vote soon on a contested permit for a helicopter tour business.

The Jackson Hole Airport board plans to review and decide on the permit for Wind River Air at a meeting March 18.

Airport officials expect a crowd and the board will meet in the airport firehouse instead of the usual administrative office, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports.

Many oppose allowing the flights over places such as the Gros Ventre and Jedediah Smith wilderness areas.

The board “shares the same thoughts and values” as the Jackson Hole community, airport board member Jerry Blann said in a statement Monday.

The board appears set to approve the permit, however, following direction from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We have received clear communication from the FAA that legally we have to permit this type of aviation activity in order to comply with federal regulations,” Blann said.

According to a draft agreement, the permit would be in effect from April 1 to March 31, 2023. The company would owe a monthly fee equivalent to 5% of gross operating revenue.

Flights over noise-sensitive portions of Grand Teton National Park, within which the airport is located, would be prohibited.