Henderson: Happy with Atlantic Aviation as employee
I read Mr. Runge’s letter to the editor regarding the FBO process and felt – as a former ABO/Aspen Aviation employee and with a spouse still employed by the current FBO company – it was important to provide an “employee” perspective to this conversation.
When I worked for Mr. Runge’s company, Aspen Base Operations, the former “monopoly,” we were treated well, but our pay was relatively low, and we had zero wellness benefits, no medical, dental, vision, etc. There was no housing stipend – something we definitely could have used even back then. The airport traffic was still predominantly commercial driven, with the private traffic just starting to grow.
Today, the business model has shifted, and the private end of the airport represents 80% of the traffic. Atlantic Aviation came in and brought good wages, good benefits, a retirement program, paid vacation/sick time, and a healthy housing stipend that’s made it possible for us to still live in and enjoy this valley.
Atlantic Aviation may not “feel” like the company of old, but in comparing the two alternatives as a former ABO employee, Atlantic Aviation has been a good change for this family. The upper management at ABO did very well when they sold the business, and the working employees just got the opportunity to work for the new company.
Thankfully, this new company came in, assessed the needs of the workforce and chose to take care of the staff, affording us a continued opportunity to live and work in this valley. I will be forever grateful to Atlantic Aviation for this reason.
I don’t have anything against Mr. Runge. In fact, I truly enjoyed my time working for ABO. But the reality is that if he was still in charge, I probably couldn’t afford to live here today.
As far as the services being “cut back,” I sincerely hope that I am not the only one who has noticed the amount of growth this airport has experienced over the past 17 years, making it hard to meet every demand (And there are many), but this current staff – some still left over from the ABO days – routinely gives 150%.