LOCAL NEWS

Unprecedented air travel anticipated over NBA All-Star, holiday weekend

Feb 14, 2023, 10:58 PM

WOODS CROSS, Utah — All-Star weekend isn’t just going to be a historic time for Salt Lake City and for local basketball fans.  Airport officials said Tuesday that the weekend would also likely be unprecedented when it comes to private air travel to the area.

“Honestly, a lot of us believe we have not seen this kind of business, corporate or private jet charter traffic in the Salt Lake Valley ever,” Skypark Airport Manager Chris Volzer told KSL TV.

Volzer said the coming President’s Day weekend was already going to be one of the busiest air travel weekends because of ski getaways, and piling the NBA All-Star Game on top of that was essentially “uncharted waters.”

“It’s pretty wild — like I said, it’s not something that I’ve personally experienced,” Volzer said. “I do know Salt Lake City International, because of all the traffic, plans to close one of their runways — their shorter runway — to handle all of the private jets coming in.”

Volzer said there has been extensive coordination between federal aviation officials, smaller surrounding airports, and Salt Lake City International to help accommodate all the traffic, which he acknowledged might be handled smoother by other, larger cities with more surrounding airports.

“Provo and Ogden, I know, are relievers for the Salt Lake Valley,” Volzer said.

Volzer said his airport was extending its hours and was going to have more staff on hand to accommodate the added traffic.

Salt Lake City International officials were expected to brief reporters Wednesday afternoon on that airport’s plans to deal with the busy travel weekend. A news release sent to media organizations said Monday, Feb. 20, had the potential to be the “busiest day ever” at the airport.

Rather than stressful, Volzer characterized the time as “exciting.” He lamented the fact he wasn’t better at spotting famous faces whenever they have passed through his airport.

“My wife gets mad at me because I don’t recognize anybody,” he smiled.

He said his airport and others had no other alternative than to be prepared for whatever arrives.

“A lot of us who are aviation nerds know — we live for this!” Volzer said.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Unprecedented air travel anticipated over NBA All-Star, holiday weekend