Seven contenders in running for Aspen airport’s future FBO
Pitkin County announced Tuesday the identities of seven applicants seeking to fill the coveted opening for a fixed-based operator (FBO) to oversee future general aviation operations at the airport.
Submitting requests for proposals include Atlantic Aviation, which has been FBO at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport since June 2006. The other six contenders are Miami-based Fontainebleau Aviation; Basel, Switzerland-based Jet Aviation; Modern Aviation of Englewood, Colorado; Odyssey Aviation of Kissimmee, Florida; Signature Flight Support of Orlando, Florida; and California-headquartered Sonoma Aviation.
Atlantic Aviation’s contract expires Sept. 30. According to the county’s announcement, an 11-member review committee tasked with selecting future FBO will take their initial look at the proposals Friday. The RFPs will be scored on certain criteria; an operator could be selected by this summer and start as soon as Oct. 1, the county said. Nine of the the review committee’s members will vote on the new FBO, the county said.
“The county’s goal, as written in its Request for Proposals (RFP), is to select a qualified respondent to ‘develop, construct, operate, maintain, and manage first-class, state-of-the-art FBO facilities and services at the airport,'” the county’s announcement said. “If a firm is selected from the proposals submitted, the firm will occupy and maintain existing facilities with expansion expected on the west side of the airfield to maintain one-for-one space that will be lost on the east side as part of long-term safety improvements.”
The airport’s FBO is charged with managing general aircraft operations through fuel and maintenance services to private planes, parking aircraft, hangaring, and other services.
Feb. 16 was the deadline for FBOs to submit their RFPs.
“(Aspen-Pitkin County Airport) is Colorado’s third busiest commercial service airport, enplaning approximately 285,000 passengers annually,” according to the county’s solicitation notice for FBO bids. “The Airport handles approximately 50,000 aircraft operations, of which approximately 80% are classified as general aviation. The Airport has a mix of year-round and seasonal commercial air service provided by United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines, which operate from the existing 44,000-square-foot terminal building. The Airport has one FBO, and extensive general aviation jet activity, particularly during the winter and summer seasons.”
The county is requiring the next to FBO to provide a minimum annual guarantee of $2.25 million after the first year of operations. The future FBO also would be responsible for “planning, design, financing, and construction of new FBO facilities on the West side of the airfield,” according to county documents.
“If a firm is selected from the proposals submitted, the firm will occupy and maintain existing facilities with expansion expected on the west side of the airfield to maintain one-for-one space that will be lost on the east side as part of long term safety improvements,” the county’s announcement said.
Occupancy down from last year; airport transitioning to spring schedule
As the winter season heads towards the end, occupancy in Aspen and Snowmass combined is still slightly down from where it was last year.