Weather diverts Aspen-bound private planes

Staff report
Aspen-bound private airplanes were a common site at Rifle Garfield County Airport on Friday. Poor visibility forced pilots to divert corporate aircraft to other airports.
Courtesy photo |

Poor visibility resulted in the diversion of approximately 30 Aspen-bound private aircraft to other airports Friday, an official said.

Aspen-Pitkin County Airport Director John Kinney, who took the leadership helm earlier this month, said that commercial service wasn’t interrupted.

“It’s just the timing of the snowstorm,” he said. “It didn’t impact scheduled (commercial) service.”

Friday’s diversions all happened in the morning, Kinney said, noting that last weekend’s weather also resulted in a “variety of diversions” to Grand Junction, Denver and Rifle.

“Obviously, the corporate aircraft face some challenges,” he said.

This is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year for Aspen. Bill Tomcich, president of reservations firm Stay Aspen Snowmass, told The Aspen Times earlier this week that the town’s hotels are expected to sell out from today through New Year’s Eve.