Jackson Hole Closing

By Chris Shieff


KJAC/Jackson Hole will be closed to all traffic from April 11-June 28. Keep an eye out for the new KJAC Notam which has yet to be published.

What’s happening?

The runway is being replaced. Work has been happening in phases, and the first happened last year with minimal impacts. But now it’s time to get the really heavy machinery out  – the entire runway will be dug out, and the sub-base replaced.

If you’re wondering what sub-base is, it’s the granular layer that the hard stuff sits on top of. Of course, once it’s in place, the runway will also be fully re-paved. Unfortunately for traffic this means all operations will be stopped for 78 days.

Once the airport reopens, work will continue to groove the runway and apply markings, but this will happen with closures at night. The entire project will be wrapped up by August.

For more information you can view the official project website.

Phase Two is about to kick off, the big one. Courtesy: Jackson Hole Airport

Is the runway being lengthened though?

Not this time. The existing runway has been in place for nearly half century, and having been re-surfaced several times it is just in need of a full replacement. There will still be 6,300′ (1920 m) of runway available when the project is finished.

Where else can I go?

There are several alternative airports that could be considered during the works. We asked OPSGROUP members what their preferred alternate is, and their answer was KDIJ/Driggs, Idaho.

It’s only 23nm away. The facilities are reportedly great, with a nice big apron that can easily fit your ride. Here is some information on the field:

Runway 04/22 7,300’/ 2,225m.

Instrument approaches: All RNAV. There is a discrete approach for 04, and an Alpha approach which will set you up for circling. Just make sure the weather is appropriate.

FBO: Teton Aviation Center. You can reach them on +1 208 354 3100, or via info@tetonaviation.com. Also it’s going to get busy – reservations are essential. Teton has put out some guidance to pilots here.

Gotchas: As you’d expect, lots of terrain and high elevation – 6231′. It’s also uncontrolled, but there is a UNICOM available on the CTAF frequency, 122.7.

Bonus: Harrison Ford may, or may not, keep a DHC-2 Beaver here. Just word on the street.

Driggs Airport comes highly recommended.

I’d prefer a side of ATC with that thanks.

The nearest controlled airport is KIDA/Idaho Falls. It’s 63 nm away, and doesn’t require any reservation of PPR (unless things start to get really crowded). It would still pay to let your FBO know you’re coming.

Runway 03/21 9002′ (2743m)

Instrument approaches: ILS available (21).

FBO: Aero Mark +1 208 524 1202 or info@aeromark.com

Idaho Falls is the nearest airport to Jackson Hole with ATC.

I’m on international ops, and need customs.

KJAC/Jackson Hole itself is not a port of entry. But if you’re looking for one with CBP nearby, the closest option is KBTM/Butte, 160nm away across the state line in Montana.

Runway 15/33 The longest option at 9000’/2743m.

Instrument approaches: ILS available (15).

FBO: Butte Aviation Inc, +1 406 494 6694 or trevor@butteaviation.com.

If you’re looking for an airport with customs, Butte is the nearest option.

We welcome other suggestions!

Please get in touch with us at team@ops.group with any other recommendations, we love to hear from you!


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Chris Shieff

Chris Shieff

OPSGROUP team member and Airbus pilot. Based in sunny Auckland, New Zealand. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

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