Airport Advisory Board



The Airport Advisory Board creates a formalized structure for community members to get involved and provide advice on how the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) can accommodate the community’s air service needs and reflect changes in the air service and aviation industry, while also remaining true to the character and values of the community. Creation of this board is in recognition of the fact that the activities of the airport affect the community in myriad ways requiring governance and ongoing community input.

In 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an “Environmental Assessment” of potential changes at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport required to improve safety and receive federal funding. In response, the ASE Vision process facilitated a robust community review of the FAA alternatives and identified a comprehensive set of Common Ground Recommendations to make the airport safer, quieter, and cleaner. The creation of the Airport Advisory Board was one of the key community safeguard recommendations that came out of the ASE Vision process. In 2021, the Pitkin County Commissioners approved the formation of the Airport Advisory Board to ensure the Common Ground Recommendations are implemented in the redevelopment of the airport and the airport’s broader future.

Discover more about the ASE Vision process:

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Meeting with the FAA

On April 11, 2023, John Bauer, manager of the Northwest Region for the Federal Aviation Administration, met with the Airport Advisory Board, Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners, and the public. He answered a variety of questions about a planned redevelopment of the Aspen Airport.


Airport Open House

On May 22, 2023, the public attended an open house at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, which was temporarily closed for airfield pavement maintenance. In afternoon and evening open house sessions, members of the public visited with Airport Advisory Board members and airport staff about the potential redevelopment of the passenger terminal, airfield, and more. The public was also invited to take a tour of the airfield to learn more about the redevelopment and the maintenance underway at the airport.

Explore the material here.

Airport Redevelopment Background


Watch and attend



Monthly Board Meetings: Documents & Presentations Library

Airport Advisory Board Meeting Resources

Meeting NameDateAgendaMinutesRecording
February 202402/15/24AgendaRecording
January 202401/18/24AgendaMinutesRecording
AAB Meetings 2023All of 2023Agendas/Minutes 2023Recordings 2023
AAB Meetings 2022All of 2022Agendas/Minutes 2022Recordings 2022
Airport Advisor Board Sub-Committees

ASE Flight Ops Safety Task Force

The mission of the Flight Ops Safety Task Force is to maximize safety and reduce aviation accidents and incidents at the airport and within local airspace. The group is composed of 12 local pilots and its bylaws limit its focus strictly to aviation-related safety in the air and on the ground. The Task Force will formulate recommendations for consideration by the Airport Advisory Board and ultimately the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Read more.

ASE FlightOps Safety Task Force Recommendations

February 8, 2024 Agenda

February 8, 2024 Recording

January 11, 2024 Agenda

January 11, 2024 Recording

STF Meeting Agendas 2023

STF Meeting Recordings 2023

STF Meeting Agendas 2022

STF Meeting Recordings 2022



Meet the Board.

Who's at the table?

Jacque Francis (Chair)

“As growth struggles with charm and tradition in the Roaring Fork Valley, I feel being on the AAB means finding the right balance for our community.”

Jacquelyn Francis, climate scientist, Executive Director of an International climate action organization and a long time local, moved to Aspen in 1971 at the age of 7, attended Aspen Elementary (Yellow brick and red brick), Aspen Middle and Aspen High schools. Was on the Kids First Board when her two daughters were toddlers, started the Playhouse at the Red Brick (through lobbying the city council), was on the N40 HOA board, has been on airport committees for around 20 years and was navigator of the Aspen Airport Visionary process. She has many years of experience living next to the airport, working on airport volunteer committees, utilizing the airport for travel and working for the greater good of the Roaring Fork Valley and for global community (regarding climate action).



Meg Haynes (Vice Chair)

“I hope to build consensus among disparate community members to implement the Common Ground Recommendations defined in the BOCC 105-2020 Resolution.” 

Meg Haynes is a management consultant specializing in coaching and facilitating strategic planning for executives, communications processes, and the development and implementation of business plans. For 30+ years Meg has consulted with Fortune 100 companies’ Presidents, CEOs and executives to develop company-wide strategic business planning processes in the US, London, Hong Kong and South America. Meg’s global consultative work has focused on providing high-level creative problem solving and corporate planning initiatives. She was a Junior League national officer, a Pecos River Leadership Development facilitator, and also affiliated with the Stephen Covey Leadership Center. Prior to moving to Aspen in 1989, Meg chaired eight different Spartanburg, SC community boards. Meg was the publicly elected Aspen Valley Hospital Board President for nine years and President of the Starwood Homeowners Association and Metropolitan Boards. She assisted in initiating Leadership Aspen and provided training for Aspen participants and in other US cities. Meg was the Board of Pitkin County Commissioners’ appointed Vice Chairman of the Aspen Airport Vision Committee and a Commissioners’ Pitkin County Cares “Exceptional One Time Event” Award recipient. Meg lives in Glenwood Springs, CO, and is a licensed realtor with Sotheby’s.

Valerie Braun

“I am appreciative to be able to continue working on the redevelopment of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.”

I have had an interest in the Aspen Airport for fifty years, having lived under the flight path in Woody Creek for forty-eight of those years!  As a member of the Woody Creek Caucus and later in a leadership role for the caucus, I had the opportunity to learn so much about the operation of the airport and from personal experience the needs of the terminal.  Because of that interest, I applied for and was placed on the ASEvision committee and worked for nearly two years studying how to improve the airport both on the landside and airside of Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.

After spending my first year on the Aspen Airport Advisory Board, I understand the work that needs to be done to bring our airport into the twenty-first century.  I am looking forward to tasks before the Board:  building a new terminal, creating better connectivity for ground transportation, finding ways to monitor and lessen the impacts (noise, greenhouse gases, and criteria pollutants), improving safety training for all pilots, and helping to deliver a world-class airport to a community that will feel it is an asset and something for which to be proud to call Aspen/ Pitkin County Airport

Auden Schendler

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to model cutting edge climate, transportation, and community health solutions for the country.”

Auden Schendler is Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company where he works on big scale solutions to climate change. He is author of the book “Getting Green Done,” and speaks and publishes widely. He has been a town councilman, a Colorado Air Quality Control Commissioner, a trailer insulator, a high school teacher, and like many in the Roaring Fork Valley, a burger flipper.

Bruce Gordon

“Being a pilot and flying out of Kase for such a long time it is an honor to have been chosen from so many talented individuals to represent my community.” 

Bruce has been providing the all-encompassing aerial perspective over critical issues on our Western landscapes for over 35 years. A Himalayan climber, the outdoors is close to Bruce’s heart; he has flown over 15,000 hours of conservation missions in multiple countries, mostly in bush and mountainous conditions.

Bruce is an ATP-commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument, instructor and floatplane ratings. Passengers on his many environmental flight missions have included governors, senators, congressmen, scientists and students of all ages. Bruce and EcoFlight have received numerous awards and recognitions, such as the Conservation Hero Award, Best Business Award in Conservation, and Aspen Hall of Famer. Bruce lives in Colorado and is an Aspen Mountain Rescue member, serves on the Aspen Airport Advisory Committee, EcoFlight board, and has been a Buddy Program mentor, and served on the board of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Howie Mallory

Rick Heede

“It is a privilege to serve the public’s interest in assuring that Aspen’s airport can continue to operate safely, that improvements to the new terminal and the runway configuration opens opportunities to reduce emissions and noise while respecting the community’s sense of restraint on growth as well as our high aspirations of creating the exemplary.”

Rick Heede is the Director of the Climate Accountability Institute and the principal investigator of the Carbon Majors Project. He has worked in climate science, policy, and mitigation for forty years, published books and articles on energy and climate, testified before Congress on energy policy, and conducted GHG emission inventories for municipal governments (including City of Aspen), educational institutions, the EPA, corporations, advocacy groups, and foundations. Rick designed and built a super-efficient passive solar rammed earth home in Old Snowmass in 1992. Born in Norway, he remains an avid skier. He learned to fly out of ASE in a 1958 Cessna 182 when he first moved to the valley in the 1980s. He holds a MA in Geography and Climate Change from the University of Colorado, 1983.

Michael Solondz (Alternate)

“I am honored to have been selected and hope that my contributions will aid in achieving a sustainable, practical and safety oriented airfield for all of the citizens in our community.”

Mike Solondz’s vast experiences make him uniquely qualified to serve the Aspen community for this very important project. Mike spent nearly 30 years in the development business building various residential and commercial projects, mostly on the east coast. His family was involved in Lakewood Airport in Ocean County NJ, and utilized FAA funding to complete improvements to the airfield. Along with his commercial pursuits, Mike served on numerous boards, both civic and trade related, and has always taken an active role in volunteering in the communities he’s served. Mike also has an extensive background in aviation, and has flown and operated various types of aircraft from small turbine propeller driven aircraft (Beechcraft King Air) to mid-sized business jets (Falcon 100) to commercial aircraft (CRJ 700) in and out of Aspen airport. Mike’s extensive real estate experience, community oriented service and intimate working knowledge of Aspen flying gives him a unique perspective as to depth and complexity of the various attributes to be considered when planning and executing projects of this magnitude.

Barry Vaughan (Alternate)

“Working for a safe and efficient airport that integrates well with both the community’s societal values and transportation infrastructure.”

Originally from Chicago, Barry is a retired attorney who lives in El Jebel. He first came to the Roaring Fork Valley when he worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School up in Marble in the 1970s. He and his wife Sally came back to Colorado from southern California in 2017. He is an instrument rated private pilot and the chair of the airport’s FlightOps Safety Task Force. When he’s not working on airport matters, you can usually find him on one of the local ski mountains or somewhere above timberline up in the back country.

Clint Kinney (EX Officio)

“High quality, efficient and effective transportation systems are paramount to protecting our outstanding community character.”

Clint Kinney is currently the Town Manager of Snowmass Village having served in this position since 2014. Previously he served as the City Manager of Fruita, CO from 2002-2014, and worked in the Durango City Manager’s office prior to that. Even with all of this time on the Western Slope, he still doesn’t own cowboy boots and has never worn a bolo tie. He concedes that his management style is more like Ron Swanson than Chris Traeger. Clint has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Clint is fortunate enough to be married, have two outstanding daughters, and gets to enjoy his fair share of time on ski and bike trails and traveling.

Catherine Christoff (EX Officio)

“I am thankful to help represent the down valley communities that utilize the airport.”

My name is Catherine Christoff, and I am the Town Engineer for Basalt. I have been living and working as an engineer in the Roaring Fork Valley for over 15 years, including 9 years working for Pitkin County. As an ex officio member of the Airport Advisory Board, I hope to provide a down valley community perspective as the airport plans develop in a way that is focused on a healthy and safe environment.


Sara G. Ott (EX Officio)

“The airport is a vital service to the Roaring Fork Valley. It is a privilege to represent Aspen’s interests at this table.”

Sara Ott is the City Manager for the City of Aspen, Colorado since 2019. She oversees $120M in annual government operations through a diverse series of community services and capital projects ranging from renewal energy utilities, downtown vitality, affordable housing development, community development, parks and recreation, police, public transit, and more. Prior to joining Aspen’s management team, she spent 18 years as a public servant in a variety of Midwest local governments. Sara has a master’s of public administration degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University. She is also a certified public manager by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and is a Director of the Colorado Insurance Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA).

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