Aspen Airport gets $225,000 grant from state |

Aspen Airport gets $225,000 grant from state

Pitkin County has been awarded a grant of $225,000 by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division for improvements at the Aspen Airport.

The grant, announced by Gov. Bill Owens on Friday, was one of 42 in the state, totaling $2.5 million.

“Because of these grants, critical airport maintenance and safety projects will be able to move forward,” Owens said in a press release. “Without this partnership between the state and local airports, many of these projects would be on the back burner, perhaps not starting for years.

“The state grants allow local airports to obtain federal matching funds which otherwise would flow to other states.”

The funding for the grants, which are solely for aviation purposes, has come from aviation fuel tax revenues.

The seven-member Colorado Aeronautical Board, which has awarded nearly 400 grants to general aviation airports in Colorado in the past decade, approved the grants.

According to Harold Patton, CDOT’s aeronautical board chairman, the grants couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Despite the economic downturn, activity in general aviation seems to be increasing,” he said. “These grant funds are a constant and ongoing fiscal resource for improving, maintaining and creating better safety and service at Colorado’s 78 public use airports.”

Travis Vallin, CDOT’s Aeronautics Division director, said the grants will benefit more than just the airports.

“It’s very good for the local communities that depend on the airports for safe aviation operations, economic development and access to emergency services,” he said.

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