Aspen Airport suitors down to three |

Aspen Airport suitors down to three

Staff report
Airplanes wait to take off on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

A review committee — led by Pitkin County’s Procurement Office — has narrowed to three the number of respondents in the running to operate and redevelop the fixed base operation at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. In February, the county received a total of seven proposals to the request for proposals.

The three respondents that will move forward are Atlantic Aviation (the current FBO operator at the Aspen airport), as well as Modern Aviation and Signature Flight Support.

“The review committee was impressed with all seven proposals received in response to the RFP,” said Chris Davis, procurement manager for Pitkin County. “Following individual scoring and a number of meetings, the committee members identified three proposers to move forward in our review process based on the criteria issued with the RFP. We look forward to conducting interviews and to further evaluating each of the short-listed proposers over the coming weeks. I believe we’re all excited to see what each contender would be able to bring not only to the airport, but to the broader Pitkin County community.”

The three finalists will move on to short-list interviews with the review committee in early April. The criteria used in the committee’s initial review of the proposals will also be used in the interviews. In addition, the respondents will answer questions formulated from input from the Airport Advisory Board and the community, county officials said.

Based on the interviews, the review committee will make a final selection and present its findings to the Board of County Commissioners. The current FBO contract term ends Sept. 31.

The county’s goal, as written in its request for proposals, is to select a qualified respondent to “develop, construct, operate, maintain, and manage first-class, state-of-the-art FBO facilities and services at the airport.”

Among other tasks, the operator will run the fueling infrastructure at the airport, which fuels private and commercial aircraft, operate the General Aviation terminal and service its customers, and manage patio shelters and tie-downs for private aircraft. If a firm is selected from the proposals submitted, it will occupy and maintain existing facilities with expansion expected on the west side of the airfield to maintain one-for-one space that will be lost on the east side as part of long-term safety improvements.