Private aircraft skids off runway at Aspen airport; no injuries

Staff report
A private jet rests partially off the runway at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport Wednesday afternoon.
Michael McLaughlin/The Aspen Times |

The runway at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport was closed for more than four hours after a private jet carrying two pilots and one passenger skidded and spun off the landing area around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. No injuries were reported.

The runway was reopened around 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to Pat Bingham, spokeswoman for Pitkin County.

Several flights out of the airport both Wednesday and this morning were canceled as a result of the incident, and several flights into the airport Wednesday were either canceled or diverted to Grand Junction or Denver. This morning’s canceled flights include one previously scheduled to depart for Houston at 7:21 a.m. and one previously scheduled to depart for Denver at 8 a.m.

The jet was grounded for about three hours after the incident about 500 feet from the south end of the runway, according to Bill Tomcich, president of reservations firm Stay Aspen Snowmass.

Pitkin County Sheriff’s spokesman Alex Burchetta said it was unknown why the aircraft skidded off the runway.

“There was minor damage to the aircraft and runway facility. There is no fuel leak,” said a statement from Pitkin County.

The Sheriff’s Office tweeted that there were no threats to public safety, and the incident was turned over to Aspen Airport Operations personnel.