Super-sizing airport won’t solve problems | AspenTimes.com

Super-sizing airport won’t solve problems

Jason Auslander reports ("Airport expansion to accommodate 737s," Aug. 12, The Aspen Times) that there are 45 days remaining in the public comment period following the FAA's approval of the environmental assessment of the new terminal.

In previous discussions over the years of the planning and stages of approval of the new terminal, I don't recall much attention having been paid to the obligation to accept 737 size aircraft.

If that aspect was omitted, the whole project reeks of bait and switch.

I'm an old local who remembers one period in the early '70s in which the airport passenger terminal consisted of a double-wide trailer. When I went through it one snowy late December, everyone's eyeglasses were totally fogged up and we stank like wet dogs in a crowded subway car.

The current terminal is the second since the double-wide version and I like it well enough. The capacity of the airport is already limited by the altitude, the surrounding terrain and the weather. Already many commercial and private flights are diverted to Grand Junction and Eagle as a matter of course. Super-sizing everything doesn't remove those limitations.

In addition, consider that even Gulfstream 5s, let alone 737s, rattle windows on the city golf course and on McLain Flats when they are taking off.

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I look forward to attending public comments for reducing the size of the new terminal to eliminate large aircraft.

David Bentley

Aspen