Unanswered questions about the airport | AspenTimes.com
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Unanswered questions about the airport

Dear Editor:

I was glad to see that the chamber (ACRA) had endorsed the new runway because I felt that they had probably gotten the questions answered that were bothering some of us. I know a member of the chamber, so I asked him some questions.

1. Did they get a definitive list of aircraft that can now legally fly into Aspen or could in the future?

Answer – No

2. Did they take into consideration that Eagle-Vail had spent $60 million dealing with the same problems we have, and now Eagle-Vail is a major world-class airport not far away? With the paving of Cottonwood Pass they could be much closer, or there could be many other methods to connect international passengers to Aspen (trains, planes, light rail, any creative thinking?).

Answer – No

3. Did they address the fact that 58 percent of flight accidents are pilot error, and our airport is in the category of being one of the most hazardous ones?

Answer – No

4. Did they address the question of why no outside reports from any agency had been attached to the Barnard Dunkelberg Report?

Answer – No

5. Did they ask why a projected 1/16th increase in traffic over a full year would necessitate a new terminal, which itself is a contradiction of the concept no larger aircraft, etc.? The new terminal also would be an affront to the Aspen Area Community Plan, and the basic perception of our tourist base that Aspen is a fairly small, exclusive resort.

Answer – No

6. Did they ask why the report indicates that next year with no runway extension we would lose 15,016 passengers, and with the 1,000-foot extension we would get 20,849 passengers? Where do all these numbers come from? Where are the 5,000 coming from?

Answer – No

7. Did they talk about the fact that Vail is in the middle of a $2 billion expansion, and because of the intense clustered nature of their core area, it serves a different clientele, and it is working? Did they understand that we can’t compete with Vail, and to survive competitively we should constantly renew our efforts to retain our small, exclusive mining atmosphere?

Answer – No

8. At any time did they even consider what makes Aspen so special, or why the Aspen experience is so special, etc.?

Answer – No

9. What were their considerations?

Money, money, money.

Thank you for sharing. It is obvious that under normal conditions longer runways solve a lot of problems, but this town is not normal, and this expansion has not dealt with many of the contingent problems. Water districts, noise, traffic, roads, and who knows what else. More money is not the answer. More love and caring and less meddling and empire-building would serve us much better.

I have had many residents communicate to me that they believe that the total expansion of our airport is a huge error. My answer to you is if you don’t show up at the commissioners meeting in Aspen on Wednesday, or write letters, you will get what you deserve.

Leslie Holst

Aspen


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