Airport sets spring closing dates |

Airport sets spring closing dates

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport on Wednesday finalized the dates it will shut down next year while workers improve the runway.Assistant aviation director David Ulane said there’s really no good time to shut down, but airport officials chose April 9 to June 7 because “it is the least disruptive time of year.”The reopening date is in time for the 2007 Food & Wine Classic, Ulane said, and the closure coincides with the end of ski season – although Aspen Mountain and Snowmass will stay open until April 15. Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said the Skico will be working on packages that include ground transportation from the Eagle County and Denver International airports to facilitate travel to Aspen through closing day.To ensure that the resurfacing project finishes on schedule, airport officials have implemented an incentives program that will reward contractors for meeting deadlines.Ulane said there’s no way to reduce the length of the closure.”Unfortunately, it just takes a lot of time to do that work,” he said.The 23-year-old runway surface will be replaced with grooved asphalt, which should improve drainage and make the runway safer when it’s wet.In addition to resurfacing the 7,000-by-100-foot runway, workers will also improve safety areas and emergency vehicle access roads.Ulane said the Federal Aviation Administration will foot more than 90 percent of the bill and local airport funds will cover the remainder.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is

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