Reid: Don’t lock in, give away control
This is a letter that we sent to the Pitkin County commissioners:
As you move toward your final decision on the fixed base operation at the airport, we urge you to consider the thoughtful and salient points raised by Amory Lovins and the Aspen Fly Right group, and the many letters printed in the newspapers echoing their concerns.
This valley deserves the protections you can establish as you move forward. Locking into a 30-year contract with a third-party operator will not adequately provide these protections. The concerns voiced in letters to you and ads placed in the newspapers propose legitimate alternatives to signing a deal with one of the three finalists vying to provide the fixed base operations.
It is unlikely that a contractor will provide the level of protection for the environment, the controls necessary to satisfy the citizens’ concerns about noise, air-traffic congestion, safety, or retention of revenues that you can if you take control of the operation in a manner similar to what you do already on the public side of the airport.
As Aspen Fly Right stated in its most recent ad: “Returning that fundamental authority to our elected officials is the start of new solutions. It reunites responsibility with agency. It unlocks many airport puzzles. It creates valuable new options for the whole community. It opens doors that continued monopoly would slam shut.”
We agree with this opinion. Please be open to changing the paradigm and ushering in a new era in county control of airport fixed base operations.
David Hyman and Barbara Reid