Aspen airport set to receive $4.25 million FAA grant

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is set to receive a grant of up to $4.25 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to prepare an environmental assessment for terminal improvements on the east side of the airport.

On Wednesday at the Pitkin County commissioners meeting, Brian Grefe, the airport’s assistant aviation director, and Ryk Dunkelberg, of the national design and architecture firm Mead & Hunt, requested approval and acceptance of the grant.

The first project anticipated to be funded is the development of the east-side terminal area, including a new terminal building, transit center, associated roadways, relocation of the existing fixed-base operator, noise wall/berm and associated support facilities.

“The FAA has monies in its 2014 budget that allows us to move forward with this environmental assessment,” Dunkelberg said. “This is a very high priority project for the FAA for safety and efficiency reasons. They’ve been working very closely with us throughout this process. We’ve already prepared a draft of the scope of services that the FAA is reviewing right now.”

The grant is an amount not to exceed $4.25 million. The amount reflects a higher than anticipated figure recognizing that the FAA could add scope that could increase the study’s cost.

Before the preparation of the federal environmental assessment, the project will require local approvals. The prepared scope of services includes significant public involvement and input throughout the process.

The FAA will fund 90 percent of the grant with the remaining 10 percent expected to be split between the Colorado Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics and the airport’s enterprise fund.

“There will be no local or federal tax dollars used to fund this grant,” said Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock.

The airport staff anticipates the environmental assessment to be completed by the end of 2016.


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