Equipment glitch at Aspen airport affects flights
Ryan Summerlin April 10, 2012
ASPEN – An issue with the Federal Aviation Administration’s localizer device, used to guide planes making an instrument approach into the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, resulted in the rerouting of a few American Eagle flights to other airports Saturday and Sunday.
“American Eagle had a couple of diversions over the weekend,” said Jim Elwood, director of aviation. “The good news is the technicians were here right away and they’ve been working diligently and that safety was not compromised.”
Elwood said Monday afternoon he didn’t know exactly how many American Eagle flights were affected. The airline finished its Aspen winter operations Sunday. It was only flying into Aspen a few times a day.
He described the problem as an “electronic glitch” with the localizer, which is located at the south end of the runway. FAA technicians worked over the weekend on the repairs. Elwood said he was waiting for a status report to see if the problem had been corrected.
Skywest Airlines, which handles flights into and out of Aspen for United Express, didn’t have any issues with inbound flights because of the localizer problem, Elwood said. But it did have to divert some flights to other airports Friday because of high winds.
Frontier Airlines was unaffected by the localizer problem but did cancel a flight into Aspen on Friday because of high winds, he said.
The localizer issue was detected by the guidance system’s self-diagnostic tests, Elwood added.