Airport advocates ground the public |

Airport advocates ground the public

The much-touted ASE visioning process — to determine future of our airport — was a kangaroo court. Speakers and “experts” were handpicked by pro-expansion advocates. Jon Peacock, the county manager, controlled much of what was allowed to be said at the meetings.

He has a master’s degree in public administration, not in aviation, yet he monopolized the conversations in the technical work group and vision committee, often holding forth on topics he was clearly not qualified to address. We who attended as concerned volunteers were not allowed to speak or have our own experts — who held differing views — speak.

The process was like a court proceeding where only one side was allowed to speak and present experts. Rigged.

By last week, I had prepared a succinct summary of hard information regarding safety and pollution at the airport — information the commissioners had not previously heard. Yet, I was allowed only three minutes. What an insult. I documented and sourced every bit of information. I charted FAA data on flight operations at Aspen airport. I obtained a professional engineering report on air pollution. I collected direct quotes from named senior pilots and airport designers. I have airplane crash data compiled by those on scene. I have documentation from aviation experts on how long CRJ-700 airframes will be in service. Everything I wanted to present is attributed to a reliable source (which I name) — unlike much of the unsubstantiated misinformation flung about during the ASE process and in commissioners’ work sessions.

The county commissioners are public servants and work for us, not the other way around. It was disgraceful that they, under the direction of Peacock, allowed only three minutes of comment from those of us who had prepared something important to say. And then they ended the meeting two hours early! Why didn’t they let those of us who needed more time have more time?

Tell your commissioners that they are obliged to listen to the truth — even when inconvenient.

Ellen Anderson

Aspen Village

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