Rexburg is charting a course to build a new airport that would accommodate larger corporate and cargo aircraft and move air operations away from Main Street and the freeway.
The city of Rexburg in early July approved a location for a new general aviation airport with an 8,000-foot runway a few miles west of the city.
The existing airport, jointly owned by the city and Madison County, sits alongside the U.S. 20 freeway with Main Street (Highway 33) at its southern end and the Teton River to the north. The runway is only 4,200 feet long, not long enough for larger corporate jets, said Scott Johnson, Rexburg’s economic development director.
The Federal Aviation Administration, city of Rexburg and Madison County have each determined the need to relocate the airport. The FAA would pay 90 percent of the cost of a new airport, though costs have not been determined.
“We have gotten six or seven letters from corporations saying ‘We would really like to fly into Rexburg but the runway is not long enough for our jets,’” Johnson said.
The city and county evaluated a dozen sites before settling on Bureau of Land Management property about a 10-minute drive west of Rexburg, Johnson said.
Several years of environmental review and engineering must take place before a new airport can be built, he said.
“You’re probably looking five years out at best; could be seven or 10 years,” Johnson said.