The Salt Lake City Council has given final approval for the city's Airport Authority to manage the Tooele Valley Airport.
Salt Lake City will use Bolinder Field near Stansbury Park, 23 miles southwest of Salt Lake International, to expand its general aviation pilot training facilities and relieve Salt Lake Valley airspace of small-plane traffic."The Salt Lake City International Airport has rapidly become the nation's 25th-busiest airport, and it will benefit our future to plan now to provide additional general aviation and pilot training facilities," said Louis E. Miller, director of airports.
Miller said the current reliever airport, Airport II in West Jordan, is not practical for alleviating crowded skies because it also uses the Salt Lake Valley's limited airspace.
Within a few years, Miller said, the airport authority hopes it can purchase the airport, which sits on a 120-acre site. He said the lease will allow time for each of the parties to get comfortable with the arrangement.
Under the agreement, the city's airport authority assumes title to the property and all existing leases. Tooele County agrees to maintain land uses adjacent to the airport and cooperate in security.
Miller estimates operation of the additional air field will cost the airport authority between $40,000 and $60,000 a year.
Commercial user fees, not city tax dollars, will be used to pay for the additional air strip, Miller said.
"Most of the airlines have a voice in how we spend money. Basically, in taking over the operation of Tooele Valley, they will gladly approve that, because it gives them relief," Miller said.