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Airlines Delete Bus Trips from Twin Falls
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Thursday, November 10, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines will not use a winter diversion busing program for Friedman Memorial Airport during periods of inclement weather this winter.

Representatives of the airlines contend that the new LPV instrument approach into Friedman Memorial Airport utilized by SkyWest Airlines and the proprietary RNP approach system utilized by Alaska Airlines has improved flight reliability and reduced weather-related operational challenges at the airport.

The system came online in December 2020 on SkyWest’s E175 aircraft.

The busing program was put in place by the airlines more than 25 years ago to mitigate weather-related flight interruptions at the airport. It was a unique program—one rarely copied elsewhere.

Minimizing the need for diversion busing was a goal all along with the implementation of the new approach, according to Chris Pomeroy, the airport’s director.

Pomeroy said the new LPV approach saved more than 180 United and Delta flights from having to divert during the past two years. Only a few flights actually diverted.

Alaska Airlines has had very few winter flight disruptions since it’s been using its RNP approach.

If a carrier cannot complete a flight to Sun Valley due to bad weather, the carrier will delay the departure of the flight. If it is already in flight, the carrier will divert the flight to a nearby airport and resume it when conditions improve.

In some cases, if flights are canceled carriers will add an extra flight to accommodate passengers when conditions improve.

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