Big money fuels Aspen airport expansion

Several years ago I was a member of a historic preservation task force — many caring citizens and also a contingent of what I call the paid hired goons. They quickly took over the process, and one year later they achieved their goal, which was nothing done.

Same thing, I believe, happened with the airport. They got a new runway and terminal. Here is reality. The Crown family corporation, which owns the ski areas, also control General Dynamics Corp., which in turn build the Gulfstream jet. Great airplane; if I had the money I would own one.

The Aspen airport wing span limit is 95 feet. The old Gulfstream wingspan is 93 feet, 6 inches. It can land. The new Gulfstream 650 has a wingspan of 100 feet. It can’t land in Aspen. They cost $65 million each and have been ordered from very wealthy people with real estate ties to Aspen.

It doesn’t take much imagination to realize what drove this group to approve an unsafe concept, which basically enabled several very wealthy individuals to influence a finding which would allow them to land in Aspen, instead of busing or driving to town from Rifle, or wherever they could legally land. There are no villains here, just misplaced sense of entitlements and lack of consideration for those with a lower economic status. Good sense and safety first must prevail. And all concerned citizens must speak up for what they believe in.

Leslie Holst

Sarasota, Florida