GOODING MUNICIPAL AIRPORT
Airport Manager Dale Thomas
1945 Airport Road
Gooding, ID 83330
The Gooding Municipal Airport is located approximately three (3) miles west-southwest of the city of Gooding, south on U.S. Highway 26. The airport is owned and operated by the City of Gooding. The runway and apron were recently reconstructed. The runway is 4,135 feet in length. There are 80 individually owned hangars.
Gooding Airport Flyers Association
Kit John, president and founder of the Gooding Airport Flyers Association (GAFA), agreed to share his knowledge of the Gooding Municipal Airport. Some of the main points Kit wanted the community to be aware of include the history of the airport, the current status, their goals and their plans to get more youth interested in aviation.
In the 1940’s, the United States was in need of pilots to fight in the war. The military decided to build an airport in Gooding, Idaho to have a subsidiary airfield in order to train pilots. The base in Gooding was also somewhat of a “back-up” for the Mountain Home airbase. After the war, the airport in Gooding was the only airport in the region supported by United Airlines. It had the only paved runway in the valley. The airport was then given to the city of Gooding and they have been the caretaker and overseer since. The airport is “a benefit to the community in so many ways,” says John. The Flying club wants people to know that, “[It’s] everybody’s airport, not just for those who fly.”
The present status of the airport is that it is growing! They recently finished a new FBO (fixed base operator) building and had other various improvements. It currently has a 4,135 foot runway, with either end clear for approaches. It is also a great place fuel up on aviation and jet fuel. As for the goals for the airport, they are hoping to add another 1,000 feet to the runway and double the size within the next twenty years. Since the property the airport sits on is roughly 600 acres, there is plenty of room for growth! GAFA would love to have more support and open-mindedness in promoting these goals, if the airport could achieve them it would bring more jobs to the city.
GAFA was established in 1996. Having fun was their main ambition. GAFA has early morning flights for breakfast, they go to museums, visit the back country, and host the annual Fly-in. Not only is it fun, but the men involved in this association promote aviation safety and are constantly trying to improve and help the airport grow. When the city first owned the airport, there were a mere six planes based there. Now, there are seventy-seven with 90% of the growth after 1996. Their work has definitely paid off, and they are not about to quit their efforts.
One goal of the Flying Club really stands out; that is to have youth from the community more involved in aviation. Whether it be learning how to fly, or how things work, or even the mechanics and technology of it all, they are hoping to get an Aviation Club started at the local high school (GHS). Some of the things they would teach the members of the high school club would be how airplanes are built, how aviation was started, and especially the evolution of the technology of flying. Back in the day, pilots didn’t have access to a GPS. They used the stars at night, the sun during the day, handheld maps, or their own intuition.