Perlman: Foresight at Aspen Airport?

On Sept. 12, my husband and I were flying from Denver to Aspen on United 5597. We were scheduled to depart Denver at 7:02 p.m. with wheels down in Aspen at 7:53.

The plane was just about to take off when we came to a sudden stop. Our pilot announced that our flight was cancelled as the “landing lights at Aspen Airport were not functioning.”

Seriously? Is Aspen Airport not prepared for this type of situation? No backup system? Approximately 56 passengers were inconvenienced. We overheard passengers stating that they would be missing morning meetings, having to cancel patients, parents who needed to get home, teachers who would miss school.

And, four other later flights were cancelled — that’s over 220 folks inconvenienced and the associated substantial economic consequences. 

We completely recognize that safety is foremost but really have no idea how Aspen airport can operate without a backup system. Is the cost of a backu-lighting system so prohibitive versus looking at the human and economic exponential impacts of all those who had to scramble that evening to make alternative plans?

Bryna Perlman