Commissioner Jack Hatfield, however, balked at the potential for an 80,000-square-foot commercial terminal, which would be nearly double what exists currently, along with 3 1⁄2 stories of underground parking, covered by landscaping, and a second fixed-based operator on the west, or Owl Creek, side of the airport.“I’m just so not on board with building structured parking,” Hatfield said. “Short term, I don’t think we need it. I think we can build a new terminal without having to build structured parking.”
ASPEN REAL ESTATE — A master plan that envisions a new commercial terminal, parking garage and other development at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport won initial approval from county commissioners Wednesday on a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Jack Hatfield cast the sole dissenting vote, voicing objections to various components of what’s been repeatedly described as a plan that reserves the physical space and location for various facilities that could be needed over the next 20 years at the airport. Wednesday’s action forwards the plan to a Dec. 5 public hearing and possible final approval. An airport layout plan then would be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration for its OK.“I’m in favor of this mainly because I see it for what it really is, … the guidelines for multiple different decisions that could be made in the future,” Commissioner Rob Ittner said. “This really is just the beginning of the design process,” Commissioner George Newman agreed. The plan, more than two years in the making, allows flexibility as individual elements are filtered through what Jim Elwood, the airport’s aviation director, predicted would be an extensive design phase. And while all of the facilities are financially feasible without an infusion of local tax revenues, planned projects can’t occur if the funding isn’t available, said financial consultant Steve Horton.
By Janet Urquhart, November, 15 2012 AT