Future Air Service Study

Airspace Impact and Aircraft Feasibility Assessment Update

On September 4th, 2018 the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners discussed the findings of an update to the Future Air Service Study called the Airspace Impact and Aircraft Feasibility Assessment Update. This study evaluates potential impacts to flight procedures and aircraft operations that could occur following improvements proposed to the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport runway.

Read the Airspace Impact and Aircraft Feasibility Assessment Update

Review the PowerPoint Presentation to the BOCC on 9/4/2018

Watch the BOCC meeting discussion of the update on 9/4/2018


Future Air Service Study Phase III

On June 24th, 2014, the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners reviewed and discussed the findings of the Future Air Service Planning Study Phase II, which outlined potential airfield configurations to accommodate the anticipated larger regional fleet mix. On July 15th, Phase III of the Study, including significant public outreach was approved. Meeting with and hearing from the community about the future of the airport is a key component of Phase III of the Air Service Study now underway.

Community Outreach

Listen to County Manager Jon Peacock on KSPN Radio

Citizen Feedback Pitkin County Connect

Download Project Timeline

Download PowerPoint Presentation ASE Air Service Study

Watch Video Air Service Study: Flight Plan for Our Community

Future Air Service Study Phase II

Pitkin County Code prohibits the operation of aircraft with “a tip-to-tip wingspan of greater than 95 feet.” The wingspan restriction is required because the Airport is physically constrained and cannot satisfy all of the applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) design standards. In 1999, the FAA approved modifications to design standards for the Airport based on the County’s commitment to prohibit use of the Airport by aircraft with wingspans greater than 95 feet. These non-standard conditions include the separation between the Airport runway and taxiway, between the taxiway and parked aircraft, and between the runway and the locations at which aircraft wait to enter the airfield until receiving permission from the Airport Traffic Control Tower.

Phase II of the Future Air Service Study sought to determine whether changes were required in the physical configuration of the airfield to accommodate the next generation of commercial aircraft.  Phase II, completed in June 2014, identified two viable options for improving the infrastructure at the airport to preserve commercial air service while maintaining safety, efficiency, and operational capacity of the airport.

Download  Future Air Service Planning Phase 2011 Final Report updated 7/7/14

Download Appendix B

Download Appendix C

Downnload Appendix D

Download Safety Standards

Download Wingspan Restrictions

Download Airport Layout Plan

Future Air Service Study Phase I

Airline industry trends include a shortage of aircraft, fewer airlines, changing regional jet specifications, intense competition for air service, significant airline investments and airlines requesting risk sharing with communities. Given this environment, the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners directed staff to develop a study that would provide insight into industry trends, Aspen’s air service market and options, and airfield/airspace configuration. Phase one of the study was completed in November of 2013.

This study addressed the following questions:

  • What is the changing technology of future aircraft serving ASE?
  • What can ASE do to best sustain future air service?
  • How would ASE accommodate these operations?
  • What are the impacts and benefits to the airport and community?
  • What is best for the future health of the community?


Phase I of the Study included:

  • Evaluation of current and future regional jets and their ability to operate at ASE
  • Consideration of future fleet mix and impacts air service development at ASE
  • Presentation to the Board, decision point to scope and continue onto Phase II


Download Final Report: Future Air Services Planning Study Phase Part1

Download PowerPoint Presentation: BOCC Meeting Future Air Services Study Phase Presentation

Watch Video BOCC Work Session 11/19/2013