Open house on Aspen airport set | AspenTimes.com

Open house on Aspen airport set

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – The latest revisions to a 20-year master plan update for the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport will be the focus of a community open house set for 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Pitkin County Library.

Local airport officials and planning consultants will be on hand to discuss the master-plan process, the airport improvements recommended in the plan and how the airport finances improvements without using taxpayer dollars.

On Tuesday, county commissioners again will take up the master plan, as well as a financial feasibility analysis related to components of the plan, including replacement of the terminal, parking facilities and new facilities to serve general, or private, aviation.

The analysis identifies potential funding sources for financing capital development projects, as well as potential revenue sources.

The master plan will also detail projected timelines for development – what conceivably would be done in the short, mid and long term – over the next 20 years, according to Jim Elwood, airport aviation director.

During the master planning process, proposed hangar space on the west side of the runway has been reduced from 180,000 square feet to 19,400 square feet, and parking recommendations have been reconfigured to include a mix of surface and underground parking. A proposed new terminal remains in the plan, but officials say that should a new terminal be built, its size and design remain to be decided, and the plans would be subject to public review. An 80,000-square-foot facility would be accommodated by the master plan as it has evolved so far, nearly double the size of the existing terminal.

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“The design and size of a new airport terminal have not yet been determined,” Elwood said in a prepared statement. “It’s likely a new terminal would be smaller than 80,000 square feet, but in the spirit of good planning we’ve reserved the space with a 20-year outlook in mind. We understand that the community wants something that is in character with our values and efficiently serves the needs of travelers and the businesses that operate out of the airport.”

The master plan could be headed for a vote of county commissioners in August. Elwood has continued to meet with community groups this week to discuss the master plan, and give small-group tours of existing airport facilities.

“We’re going to take input up until people are tired of talking about it,” he said Monday.

Go to http://www.aspenairportplanning.com for more on the master plan and to provide feedback.