Aspen airport navigational aid back in service
November 14, 2010
ASPEN – Navigational equipment serving the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport was returned to service Saturday evening at about 8 p.m., according to airport officials.
The newly replaced antenna array, located atop Aspen Mountain, was out of commission for a month while the Federal Aviation Administration replaced it, returning it to service on Nov. 6. The system shut itself down automatically Tuesday when it detected conflicting data about the transmitted signal. An FAA crew returned to work on the system again.
Without the localizer, United Express flights from Aspen to Denver are affected whenever cloud cover prevents pilots from making a visual approach. SkyWest operates the United flights. On Saturday, the first flight of the day arrived in Aspen about an hour late, four flights were canceled and one was rerouted to Grand Junction.
Frontier, currently flying one flight daily between Denver and Aspen, has been unaffected because its planes have GPS equipment aboard that allows them to fly without the mountaintop localizer.
The localizer sends out a signal to guide pilots flying on instruments in the event they miss the approach to the airport and must circle around for another try. Another localizer, at the south end of the airport runway, has remained operational throughout replacement of the equipment on the mountain.