Airport lands security grant | AspenTimes.com

Airport lands security grant

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The Aspen airport is finally receiving some federal funding for security improvements it has undergone since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Of $5 million being granted to airports in Colorado, the local airport is receiving $261,775. Airport Director Jim Elwood said the grant money will cover security items added to Sardy Field that the Federal Aviation Administration has deemed appropriate.

For the local airport, that means the addition of airport security officers, and orange barrels used to mark parking changes, but not electronic security upgrades to the airport. Elwood said since Sept. 11, the airport has spent about $100,000 on security changes.

Although he requested $313,000 from the federal government in aid, he said he was “pleasantly surprised” to hear about the money the airport will receive.

“It has been very difficult to get a bill for any relief for airports through congress,” Elwood said. “The airlines got $15 billion in support, and this is the first monies that we’ve received to help us offset those expenses and problems that came out of federal security mandates.”

Airports nationwide are receiving a total of $175 million, compared to the $15 billion that airlines received.

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“It’s nice to see some recognition,” Elwood said. “It’s not enough, and it won’t cover all of our expenses, but we’re grateful for the support and help.”

Denver International Airport will receive $2.3 million in federal aid, Colorado Springs will receive $301,000, Durango will receive $160,000 and Eagle Airport will receive $71,956.

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