In 2017, Tyler, my son, and I attended a merit badge camp at the Heber Airport. On the first day we went into a hanger and there was an airline pilot dressed in his uniform. Tyler was there for a 3-hour presentation and to do the classroom section of the aviation merit badge. After the three hours were over I thought he would be ready move on to the next subject. During the camp he was introduced to radio use, fire building, welding, weather, etc., but aviation really stuck with him. He talked all night about how he was going to be a pilot someday. We slept overnight on the airport grounds and woke the next morning to an even bigger surprise. We discovered that there were volunteers coming to the airport to give rides to the kids. Tyler went on his first flight in a small plane and I’m not sure he has ever come down. From that day forward he knew exactly what he wanted to do for a living and what career he would pursue. I figured if my son was this excited about something I would support him 100%. Shortly after that camp I decided to start my own pilot training.  I received my private pilot certification and now fly in and out of the Heber Airport occasionally in a small plane.

This valley is unique in its shape with high mountains all around. Many seasoned pilots are hesitant to fly in here for the first time because of the topography. This is also the reason that larger jets than currently land here will never come. They need more distance from the mountains for safe approaches, landings and take-offs. The airport, however is outdated and must be updated, NOT EXPANDED, to allow the planes already landing here to do so safely. The current airport study will make recommendations to update airport safety including widening the runway and widening taxiways for safe ground maneuvering. This does not include lengthening the runway to accommodate for larger aircraft to land, which should not happen. I do not support “Expanding” the footprint of the airport or encouraging more traffic. The airport can continue to bring economic value to the Heber Valley and I look forward to work with the citizens of Heber in shaping that vision for the future.

Scott Phillips

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Running for City Council in Heber City, Utah