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Imagine Aspen airport with electric aircraft

I started out in 1957 with a Piper Cub and 10 hours flying time in my logbook and ending my flying career a couple of years ago with a high-performance sailplane that featured a small engine for taxing and takeoff. By then I had about 20,000 hours of flying time, none of it by autopilot! The designer of the above aircraft is now introducing one that will take off with electric power. They are coming!

I wonder if the new construction suggested by possibly airlines, consultants, airport managers, etc. is really best for us.

I feel there will always be an aircraft that can handle ASE the way it is. The big reason for the new runway was the larger wingspan newer aircraft would feature. There are aircraft being developed that can fold the extra span, like carrier jets.

New electric aircraft may be vertical takeoff. There is one flying in Germany already. You say a 30-year plan? In 25 years Aspen may have shortened its runway and electric aircraft may service Eagle along with an electric train over Cottonwood Pass. I could see Aspen as the first city on the planet going all electric! No more jets or cars, and even classic cars could be converted to electric!

The aircraft I imagine would be 20-passenger electric VTs flying pilotless feeding Eagle as shuttles, possibly not needing TSA!

With a train servicing Eagle’s airport that also is working better in weather, we may not need that large a terminal. Eventually it would be a hybrid terminal accommodating trains, aircraft, valley transportation and possibly a gondola to Snowmass, all happening at the bottom of Buttermilk, like I suggested 35 years ago in our paper.

To build that train, we may not get help from the FAA, but most likely other counties would help.

Therefore, I feel we should wait another five years with any building. We will wonder what the world will look like a year from now after COVID-19 anyway.

Dieter Bibbig

Aspen


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