Fox: Who’s flying in? |

Fox: Who’s flying in?

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

I was shocked to learn that only 17% of the planes landing in Aspen are commercial passenger planes, and that 83% are private, chartered, or corporate — that’s four out of five! As there is no required training for private pilots landing here, many have little appreciation of our tricky airspace. The result: more than two accidents a year, on average — and I never hear about them! Do you?

If the fixed-base operations, i.e. the private side of the airport, were to come under the control of Pitkin County, some of the issues regarding safety and numbers could be addressed. We’ve not yet had an official visit from the FAA to advise us on why airport expansion is necessary, if it is. What might we learn from the FAA, the source with the most experience? And why is the Board of County Commissioners considering giving away local, fixed-base operations control when it generates millions in revenue?

I believe we need to keep our airport small and regional to avoid a tragedy and to control the environmental impact private and commercial planes are having on our narrow, insulated valley. All of the explosive technology we’re experiencing in AI — in automobiles and automation — confirm that very soon airplanes may not need longer, wider runways, and the millions we’re considering spending will be obsolete before the expansion is complete.

And yes, we do need a new terminal.

Patty Fox 

Woody Creek