Aspen airport closure to come during May lull
The Aspen-Pitkin County Airport will be closed to all non- medical and emergency flights for a week in May for maintenance, an official said Friday.
Pitkin County officials worked with the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and the two commercial airlines that serve the airport to come up with the least impactful time to close, said Rich Englehart, the airport’s interim director and an assistant county manager.
“It just happens to be these dates we picked in May,” he said.
The airport will close at 11 p.m. May 17 and remain closed to all flights — including general aviation private flights — until 7 a.m. May 24, according to a news release Friday. United Airlines and American Airlines have been notified of the closure and will not schedule any flights during that period, Englehart said.
The closure comes toward the end of Aspen’s spring offseason and affects a total of 42 flights. Had officials waited another week and allowed the work to occur in June, it would have canceled 94 flights, he said.
The $1.6 million maintenance project will include asphalt work on the apron and taxiway and repainting those areas and possibly some areas of the runway, Englehart said. The funding does not include tax money but instead comes from grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and Colorado Department of Transportation.
The airport closed for maintenance for six days in September, when the asphalt work was originally scheduled to be done. However, contract bids came in too high at the time because of pandemic concerns so only repainting of the runway and other areas occurred at that time, which was mandated by the FAA, he said.
The only flights that will be allowed to operate during the closure will be emergency medevac and Mountain Rescue Aspen operations, according to the news release.
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