Committees kick off work on new Aspen airport |

Committees kick off work on new Aspen airport

The committees that will help determine what Aspen and Pitkin County’s new airport will look like met for the first time Thursday.

About 140 people attended the kickoff to a year-long process in which one main committee and three subcommittees will drill down on the project, make recommendations and come up with a preferred vision for the airport by November, a spokesperson said.

The main group that will oversee the entire public outreach process will be the Airport Vision Committee. Under that will be a committee focused on the airport experience for customers, while another committee will deal with technical aspects of the project and the third will focus on “community character.”

The Pitkin County board of commissioners will have the final say on the airport project, which will likely come in December, according to a timeline presented Thursday.

Proposed plans for the airport include relocating and widening the runway to accommodate a projected new class of regional jets that are quieter and more fuel-efficient but have larger wingspans than the airport can now accommodate. Officials also have presented plans for a new 60,000- to 80,000-square-foot modern terminal to replace the current, somewhat ramshackle 47,000-square-foot building.

Together, those two projects are currently estimated to cost between $350 million and $400 million. No decision about the project has yet been made, though the federal government has approved the environmental aspects of it.

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