Yes to a new Aspen-Pitkin County Airport terminal, no to a new runway
As a member of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport experience group, I personally performed internet research and found that a CRJ-1000 aircraft exists, a stretch version of the CRJ-700. The CRJ-1000 has a 95-foot wingspan, like the CRJ-700, and thereby can land on the current runway.
In addition, the heat-fired kilns manufacturing the cement in a new runway create enormous carbon debt, thereby contributing to climate change. The original proposed FAA 150/5324-4C 9,000 feet long, or 1,000 feet longer than the current runway, The calculated carbon dioxide debt, based upon the proportion of cement in concrete will be 105,356,712 kg CO2. The ASE vision proposal for Board of County Commissioners review on Tuesday is for a 150-foot wide runway, or even more carbon debt.
ASE needs a new terminal, not a new runway, which will invite larger aircraft to land.
With safety our primary concern, in a potential crash, Aspen’s hospital is not like Denver or other big cities with hundreds of hospital beds. Adding aircraft with larger seating capacity contradicts true concern for safety. This is not a frivolous comment: I’m a former USAF flight surgeon who’s been a first responder a major crash at Boston Logan (Iberia DC-19) as well as Denver Stapleton (Continental 727).
I’ve provided this information to the ASE Vision Group with much greater supportive detail in a report that I personally distributed in December 2019.
I compliment Amory Lovins, Ellen Anderson and others who have courageously stepped forth to help the community on these matters.
Dr. Tom Kurt
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Richard Compton’s life will be celebrated in an informal gathering on Oct. 23 from 1-3 p.m. at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. All are welcome.