Aspen airport director receives national honor |

Aspen airport director receives national honor

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jim Elwood

ASPEN – Aspen-Pitkin County Director of Aviation Jim Elwood is the 2012 recipient of the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Airport Award.

The honor recently was announced by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Association of Airport Executives and the Airport Consultants Council, co-sponsors of the award.

Elwood is being honored for his leadership in developing a cooperative relationship with the community surrounding the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport by designing and implementing aggressive environmental protection programs while achieving airport expansion, according to a news release from Pitkin County.

“Since he began in his role as airport director here more than a decade ago, Jim has been able to define important community concerns, namely noise, conservation and sustainability, and has worked tirelessly in developing specific programs to address these issues through cooperative efforts,” said Michael Owsley, chairman of the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners, in the news release.

The airport’s sustainability initiatives include the 2005 greenhouse gas inventory and 2006 update, climate action plan initiatives for the airport, developing renewable energy partners and exploring hydroelectric and solar power initiatives. In addition, Elwood led the airport in the development of an Energy Action Plan, Construction Management Plan, and a fly quiet/fly clean/fly green series of community meetings.

Under Elwood’s leadership, the airport’s 20-year master plan is being updated to reflect proposed improvements that satisfy aviation demand while remaining compatible with the environment, community goals, development plans, and other modes of transportation, the county said.

“Our community relies on tourism and activities dependent on environmental resources including skiing, hiking, biking, rafting and climbing, among others. Jim has worked very hard to try to balance the interests of the airport with the interests of the community and of the people who live and play here,” Owsley said.

The award includes a $10,000 honorarium that Elwood intends to donate to a local nonprofit organization. He will accept the award on March 1 at a Denver symposium of airport executives and consultants.

The Jay Hollingsworth Speas Award was established in 1983 by R. Dixon Speas and Ms. Speas in honor of their son, Jay, who was interested in improving environmental relationships between the airports, both civil and military, and the communities they served, according to the Airport Consultants Council.

It is presented annually to the person or persons judged to have contributed most outstandingly during the recent past toward achieving compatible relationships between airports and/or heliports and adjacent environments.