Routine Airport Upgrades Improve Safety and Comfort

Paint pleases pilots while furniture “makeover” pleases travelers


(Aspen, CO) Painting stripes on the airfield and replacing terminal furniture may at first glance seem mundane but routine improvements like these at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport keep the operation safe, comfortable and convenient.

Painters this week wrapped up the first of a twice a year airfield painting project striping the runway, taxiway and ramps. This $74,000 project has historically been done once a year but has been increased to spring and fall because of the toll mountain weather takes on critical airfield markings.

“Every winter our snowplows, brooms and the deicing materials we use take their toll on our airfield markings,” said Assistant Airport Director of Operations, Francey Jesson. “To keep the airfield safe these markings must be bright and crisp and easy to see from the air and on the ground.”

Over 100,000 square feet of black paint was used to outline stripes of white (59,000 sq ft), yellow (25,000 sq ft), and red (9,300 sq ft).

“This is an admittedly expensive twice a year project for the airport,” Jesson said. “We are looking for a longer lasting solution.”

A new thermalplastic marking system, recently approved by the FAA, is being tested at the airport this summer. The product melts markings into the asphalt and that vendors claim lasts eight times as long as paint. Jesson says the product costs four times as much as paint but may save the airport money in the long run.

In related news, the 20 year old red cloth airport pre-boarding terminal furniture was replaced this month with more, “at home feeling” sets of leather chairs and couches in the passenger greeting area and higher tech seating in the pre-boarding ticketing area. The terminal furniture makeover includes chairs and tables with electrical and USB outlets for computers and other electronic devices and wireless “Powermat” cell phone/mobile device charging surfaces.

“We’re excited to be one of the few airports in the country to offer wireless “Powermat” induction chargers on our furniture,” said Assistant Airport Director, David Ulane. “If you have a Powermat wireless charger adapter on your cell phone or mobile electronic device you simply set your phone or device down on one of our tables with white Powermat chargers and charge your phone or mobile device while you wait for your plane,” Ulane said.   The airport is currently working to make the most popular PowerMat adapters available in the airport.  In the meantime, users can visit www. to purchase one for their devices.


Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011