Jackson Hole Airport is soon to be one of the only airports in the country testing the new FAA “next generation” approach, which will alter the way planes fly into Jackson Hole. Airport director Ray Bishop explained that this new curved approach involves GPS satellite systems, as opposed to a ground approach. He said an array of benefits will result from shifting the way aircraft arrive into the valley, including a decrease in 14 miles, or about four minutes, off of flight times. It will steer planes over Lander’s Mount Leidy, approximately 15 miles east of Jackson Lake, an area where noise levels have been noticeably disruptive. Bishop also pointed out that the “next generation” approach will offer substantial savings for airlines that burn roughly 1,000 gallons of fuel per hour.
Airlines will be able to utilize the new approach after FAA performs its certification flight, which should happen in the very near future, Bishop said.