Driggs-Reed Municipal Airport
The airport had its beginnings as a grass strip in 1949 when land was acquired and the grass strip was created with federal funding. At that time, the runway was 3,400 feet long and 200 feet wide. DIJ remained a grass strip until 1975, when another FAA grant helped to pave the runway according to ITD highway specifications. The first paved runway at DIJ was 5,200 feet by 75 feet.
Today Driggs–Reed Memorial Airport covers an area of 184 acres at an elevation of 6,231 feet above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 4/22 with an asphalt surface measuring 7,300 by 100 feet (2,225 x 30 m).
For the 12-month period ending July 8, 2013, the airport had 8,000 aircraft operations, an average of 22 per day: 86.3% general aviation and 13.7% air taxi. At that time there were 90 aircraft based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 6% multi-engine, 12% jet, 2% helicopter and 11% glider.
Fred Reed of the Driggs-Reed Memorial Airport was a local pilot for many years and was a major contributor in the early development & success of this city’s airport. He was the city’s first airport manager & was responsible for its care & operation.
From 1973 to his death in 1995, Fred Reed, a veteran army Vietnam helicopter pilot, also dedicated himself to the development of the airport with providing services there. His entrepreneurial spirit was critical in starting the Driggs airport based `air taxi` service, air ambulance service, balloon, glider flights etc. that served many local residents and brought many visitors to the valley.
In the early days of computer use Mr. Reed pioneered a local company (Air Research Inc.) that used airplane on-board computers to record the locations & tracking of wildlife for state and federal agencies (Yellowstone Natl. Park, etc.) which brought national attention to the valley. It’s the `roots` heritage which makes a place special & different like this!