Support commuter air service
September 2, 2006
Dwight Shellman’s proposal to create a community-owned commuter air link to Denver deserves support. In 1974, I used the Aspen Times employee passes to see Jim Thursby, a therapist who had been an original member of the Touchstone clinic here in Aspen along with Helen Klanderud and the psychiatrist Sam Schiff. The end result of my therapy was that I gave up my futile dependence on a hearing-aid and reconciled myself to being totally deaf.
On both Aspen Airways and Rocky Mountain Airways, the one-way price was under $25 which is about 80 bucks in today’s money. My fondest memories are of flying on the 19-passenger Rocky Mountain Airways Twin Otter that stopped in Leadville and Breckenridge. It was a wonderful puddle-jumper. It flew slowly enough so that I could see the cairn on the summit of Grizzly Peak and gold-dredging piles of gravel around Breck. The bumpiness of some of the flights gave a handmade feeling to the trips very unlike the cattle-car cocoon experience of larger aircraft.
I think there is a large demand for such a service and hope that professional investigation of the specifics will show that Mr. Shellman’s idea is practical. Commuter air service should be a public utility priced for locals, not as a luxury for tourists.