Taylor: Plenty of those planes | AspenTimes.com

Taylor: Plenty of those planes

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

There has been a lot of discussion around the airport lately, although in reading the papers you might have missed it. There seems to be a media drought around it locally. The Airport Advisory Board and the Pitkin County commissioners seem to be stuck in the same debate they have historically proposed. We will “run out” of available airplanes suitable to fly into Aspen and provide the 17% of commercial flights that serve the bulk of our community: https://www.aspentimes.com/news/future-jet-choices-slim-without-new-runway/.   

This article from 2018 clearly states, “The current commercial jets that service the Aspen airport are called Bombardier CRJ700s. Currently, no American or Canadian airlines have more of those Canadian-manufactured jets on order, and they will begin to reach the end of their lifespans in about 2023, Dunkelberg said.”    

Well, it’s 2023, and there is no end in sight for the use of these planes. SkyWest was forecast to retire half of them by a year ago and all by 2025, but has actually retired zero. The county’s own top technical consultant on aviation said in October that the CRJ700s are good for another 20–30 years. Thus, the most basic parameter underlying the push for bigger planes was misforecast by decades. The argument for reconfiguring the runway and taxiway to allow larger planes was based on inaccurate information. 

It brings into question what other information we might have gotten wrong and what other misinformation we are still hearing that will set our airport strategy and size. 
For information on this debate, go to https://aspenflyright.org

Susan Taylor

Woody Creek