(Aspen, CO) Construction of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport’s runway extension will continue between 9am and 7pm seven days a week in order for the project to stay on schedule. Construction began on April 4th and will continue through October.
“The late spring weather and snow have posed some challenges, and our contractor is working weekends to maintain the project schedule, which would have the runway extension open for use in early November,” said Assistant Director of Aviation, David Ulane.
So far work has been focused almost exclusively on the installation of the Buttermilk Metro District/City of Aspen water connection. Work to date has included waterline and drainline excavation, as well as prep work for the supporting utility installations (Qwest and Holy Cross) needed for Buttermilk’s new water pumping station. All work is currently taking place outside the airport perimeter fence, and is not impacting airport operations. While some work will begin taking place inside the perimeter fence in late May, it will not have an impact on airport operations.
As a reminder, there will be two three day periods between September 6th and October 22nd, when the runway will have to be shortened further to 6,000’ to allow for additional daylight construction activities immediately at the existing runway end. From September 13th to September 15th, and again from October 4th through October 6th the available runway length will be 6,000’. This length is insufficient for SkyWest Airlines’ CRJ-700 aircraft to operate, so United Airlines’ service will temporarily cease on these days (SkyWest operates United’s flights at Aspen.) This phasing has been coordinated at length with SkyWest, and United flights on those days have already been removed from the United reservation system. It is important to note that this runway length will not prohibit the operations of Frontier Airlines’ Q-400 aircraft, nor most of the general aviation aircraft that operate at our airport. Some flights, however, may be subject to weight reductions due to the shortened runway.
Staff has been communicating these dates proactively with airport users, tenants and the public. Information about the project and the closure dates has been posted on both the aspenairport.com website, and our planning website at aspenairportplanning.com. Additionally, in the next two weeks, we will be updating the project information signage in the terminal, to include these dates.