Airport Director Receives Prestigious Speas Airport Award


(Aspen, CO) The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Association of Airport Executives and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) have announced that Aspen/Pitkin County Director of Aviation Jim Elwood is the 2012 recipient of the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Airport Award. Elwood is being honored for “his leadership in developing a cooperative relationship with the community surrounding the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport by designing and implementing aggressive environmental protection programs while achieving airport expansion.”

“Since he began in his role as Airport Director here more than a decade ago, Jim has been able to define important community concerns, namely noise, conservation, and sustainability, and has worked tirelessly in developing specific programs to address these issues through cooperative efforts,” said Chairman of the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners, Michael Owsley.

The airport’s sustainability initiatives planned, underway, or completed include the 2005 greenhouse gas inventory and 2006 update, climate action plan initiatives for the airport, developing renewable energy partners, and exploring hydroelectric and solar power initiatives. In addition, Elwood led the airport in the development of an Energy Action Plan, Construction Management Plan, and a fly quiet/fly clean/fly green series of community meetings. Under Elwood’s leadership the airport’s 20 year Master Plan is being updated to reflect proposed improvements that satisfy aviation demand while remaining compatible with the environment, community goals, development plans, and other modes of transportation.

“Our community relies on tourism and activities dependent on environmental resources including skiing, hiking, biking, rafting, and climbing, among others. Jim has worked very hard to try to balance the interests of the airport with the interests of the community and of the people who live and play here,” Owsley said.

Elwood received recommendations for the award from CEO of the Aspen Skiing Company, Mike Kaplan, Deputy Associate Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, Catherine Lang, and President of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Elaine Roberts.

The award includes a $10,000 honorarium that Elwood intends to donate to a local non-profit.


Elwood will accept the award on March 1st at an AAAE/ACC symposium Denver. The AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. There are 35,000 individual members worldwide including industry, academia, and government.

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2012