Telluride Regional Airport will operate 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. year round, effective
By Kathrine Warren
Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011 5:15 PM CDT
After more than six months of contentious public meetings, legal talks and subcommittee reserach, the Telluride Regional Airport Authority has voted to set airport operating hours from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. year round, effective immediately.
In a board meeting on Thursday, the TRAA voted 7-0 to change the Telluride Regional Airport’s operating hours, with the hopes of bringing in more air passengers in the wintertime. The new operating hours are open to both commercial and private aircraft.
For more than 25 years the airport’s operating hours were 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after sunset.
The idea to change the airport’s operating hours first gained traction last summer when TRAA realized the airport could be ineligible for $1 million in Federal Aviation Administration funding if the its enplanement numbers — the amount of commercial passengers arriving and departing — dipped below 10,000.
Airport officials saw extended winter night hours as a chance to attract more commercial flights per day and in turn, more visitors.
As TRAA explored extending hours, residents of the Last Dollar and Aldasoro subdivisions came out swinging against the proposal while other community members thought the change would help the region’s economy.
Past meetings have been rife with passionate opposition and support for the idea, however only a handful of people were present Thursday and there was no public comment.
“This has been very contentious,” said TRAA chairmen John Micetic. “I hope we move forward and move forward positively, for the whole community.”
Ann Brady, Telluride Town Council member and TRAA board member, acknowledged that the community will grumble about it, but pointed out, “We’ve given months and months to this.”