Aspen airport to hike landing, parking rates | AspenTimes.com

Aspen airport to hike landing, parking rates

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Paul Conrad/Aspen Times Weekly

ASPEN – Landing fees are slated to increase 5.1 percent next year at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, but the hike shouldn’t translate into higher airfares for consumers, according to Jim Elwood, aviation director.

Airlines set airfare prices based on market forces that rarely seem to correlate to the cost of doing business, Elwood noted, explaining the fee hikes to county commissioners on Tuesday.

“I think that makes a lot of people crazy,” he conceded.

The landing fee hikes will apply to commercial and private aircraft. Excepted are private planes based at the local airport; they are not charged a landing fee. The fees are based on aircraft weight and go toward airport costs. The current landing fee for SkyWest’s CRJ-700 jet, for example, is about $263, based on the aircraft’s weight – 67,000 pounds. The fee would increase to $276 in 2011.

Parking fees at the airport will also increase next year, by 20 percent, as proposed.

In lot A, nearest the terminal, parking would remain free for the first hour, and cost $2 per hour for the next six hours (as opposed to five hours currently), with a maximum cost of $12 per day, up from $10 per day currently.

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In lot B, parking would remain free for the first hour and cost $1 per hour for the next six hours (as opposed to five hours currently), with a maximum cost of $6 per day, up from $5 currently.

Parking rates have not changed since December 2006, when the price for the close-in, premium spots was increased from a maximum of $6 per day to the current $10 per day, according to Elwood. At that time, the outlying, economy parking rates were decreased from a maximum of $6 per day to the current $5 per day.

So far this year, 78 percent of the vehicles parked at the airport lots have been parked for three days or less, according to Elwood.

The proposed increase is aimed at continuing to provide the airport with parking revenue, but also to encourage airport users to consider an alternative to driving a vehicle to and from the airport, he said in a memo to commissioners.

Commissioners approved the fee hikes on first reading Tuesday; a public hearing and second reading, when they may take final action, is scheduled Dec. 15.

janet@aspentimes.com

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