Aspen Runway Extension Funding Possible

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A runway extension at Aspen-Pitkin Regional Airport may happen sooner rather than later. Aspen officials have been told they may need a resolution in place to accept about $14 million in federal funding for the extra 1,000 feet of runway, which would allow larger regional airliners to use the airport, which serves popular resort areas in the region. Aspen was told earlier that it didn't make the funding list for this year but it now appears that some projects that were approved have been delayed. The FAA's fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

If the money is approved, crews would be able to get some preliminary work done on the project before the snow flies. The runway would be built over the water wells serving a neighboring community and a deal for alternative water service needs to be struck. Meanwhile, an airline service bottleneck has been solved for the coming winter. Republic/Frontier Airlines had planned to sell off all its Q400 aircraft and they were the only aircraft that could serve Aspen. That would have left United as the only airline with scheduled service. Republic/Frontier elected to hang on to enough turboprops to maintain service this winter. Delta Airlines has terminated service to Aspen.