Runge: A team of rivals
Why was Amory Lovins not selected to be on the Airport Advisory Board? He applied to be on the board. He is imminently qualified. He is obviously willing to commit the time and energy on this important community airport expansion issue.
But like many of us who were publicly opposed to expanding our airport, especially based on the false premise that the CRJs were being phased out, the Pitkin County commissioners did not select any of the loud opposing voices to join the advisory board. In other words, they did not put together a team of rivals that would have had a much better chance of developing a community consensus around future airport decisions. Instead, airport opposition voices were constrained to editorials and letters to the editor.
I understand this lack of community consensus must be very frustrating to the existing members of the Airport Advisory Board, who have spent countless hours working on airport issues. Jackie Francis in particular has spent over two decades working on this issue, and this community owes her a debt of thanks that we can never repay.
But ultimately, despite the best intentions of the advisory board, it appears that the county commissioners are just using the board and the FAA to shove an unwanted airport expansion and monopoly FBO down our community’s throat.
What a difference it would have made if those publicly opposed to airport expansion had been given a seat at the table.
We have options. One of our previous Pitkin County airport managers, Jim Elwood, transferred to the Jackson Hole Airport and orchestrated the community takeover of the FBO operation there. It can be done.
Amazingly, our community is in the unique financial situation of being able to take control of our airport. Why would we ever give this control away to the FAA and a giant hedge fund owned-FBO?