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West Jordan Journal

South Valley Regional Airport’s master plan gets off the ground

Jun 06, 2023 12:50PM ● By Peri Kinder

There are big plans for the South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan at 7365 S. 4450 West, but don’t expect to see changes anytime soon. 

The Salt Lake City Department of Airports is updating its master plan for the regional airport that is home to the Utah National Guard Army Aviation support facility, maintenance hangars, aircraft parking, airplane hangars and flight schools. 

Brady Fredrickson, SLCDA director of airport planning, has been sharing the master plan with the public, getting feedback and talking about the changes that include lengthening the runway and building an air traffic control tower. 

“The runway extension itself will be based on demand, and it’s based on specific demand, and that would be corporate jets starting to fly in and out,” he said. “When we see business jets that need to go to the East Coast, that’s when the runway will be extended.”

That growth could happen in five years, 10 years or longer. In fact, the 2006 SVR master plan that’s being updated shows most of the same things discussed in the new plan, but it anticipated more aggressive growth.

By planning now, the airport can preserve space and start working with the Federal Aviation Administration who will need to review the plans and analyze the site for the air traffic control tower which is proposed to be placed on the east side of the airport. 

With its proximity to Salt Lake International Airport, the SVR’s need for a tower is becoming critical as the airports share an increasingly busy airspace. 

“As operations have grown in South Valley, the need to control the airspace and make sure the aircraft are in proper position and separated is increased,” Fredrickson said. “We’re right on the cusp of needing [a tower]. It will take a while to get one. If you start planning for a tower, it’s not a couple of years before you get one. It could be five, six, eight or even longer. But we have to start now to plan for the future.”

Another big change being proposed is increasing the runway to 6,600 feet. The current length is 5,562 feet and the master plan shows the runway extending north by 1,000 feet. That includes pushing the south end of the runway 300 feet to the north and moving the north end of the runway an additional 1,042 feet north. 

“The reason we’re shifting the 300 feet to the north is there’s a required safety field that we want to make clear,” he said. “It is a 1,000-foot safety zone and what that does is it shifts it off the road. And the runway protection zone moves off the West Jordan public utilities building.”

Overall, Fredrickson said the airport serves the area well. Starting as an Army base in 1942, ownership of the airport was transferred to Salt Lake City after WWII. The SLCDA looks at SLI, SVR and Tooele airports as a system where what happens at the international airport affects what happens at the two smaller airports.

Air traffic at SVR includes aircraft training while Tooele is home to skydiving operations, something that can’t be done over the international airspace of South Valley airport. 

“As the valley grows, the system of airports is vital and each airport plays a vital role in that system,” he said. “These systems interact with one another and create a good environment for recreation, commercial fliers and vital things like firefighting.”

The next step in the master plan is to finalize alternatives, create an environmental analysis and dive into the details of cost and implementation of airport projects. For more information, visit  λ