Aspen–Pitkin County Airport
|Aspen–Pitkin County Airport
|IATA: ASE – ICAO: KASE – FAA LID: ASE
|Elevation AMSL||7,820 ft / 2,384 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Aspen–Pitkin County Airport (IATA: ASE, ICAO: KASE, FAA LID: ASE), also known as Sardy Field, is a county-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) northwest of the central business district of Aspen, in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States.
Facilities and aircraft 
Aspen–Pitkin Co./Sardy Field covers an area of 573 acres (232 ha) at an elevation of 7,820 feet (2,384 m) above mean sea level. It has one asphalt paved runway designated 15/33 which measures 8,006 by 100 feet (2,135 x 30 m).
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010, the airport had 37,603 aircraft operations, an average of 103 per day: 53% general aviation, 21% air taxi, 26% scheduled commercial, and 0.01% military. At that time there were 84 aircraft based at this airport: 88% single-engine, 6% multi-engine, 2% jet and 4% glider.
In 2007, the runway was completely rehabilitated with new grooved asphalt. A partial length parallel taxiway A is located 320 ft (98 m) from the runway centerline on the east side of the runway, and serves general aviation on the north end of the airport and the commercial terminal on the south end. The airport meets modified FAA D-III airport reference code standards.
On April 4, 2011, the airport began a $15.5 million runway extension project which added 1,000 feet of runway length to the existing 7,006' long runway. This project was completed on November 2, 2011 .
The Aspen–Pitkin County airport terminal is a 44,000 square feet (4,100 m2) single floor facility, which has undergone several renovations since its original construction in 1976. The airport terminal hosts six rental car operations, a year round guest services operation, and restaurant and gift shop concessions. As of the fall 2009, the airport is undertaking a terminal area plan, which is evaluating potential improvements to the existing facility, or the construction of a new facility on or near the existing terminal site. This study is expected to be complete in 2010.
Airport improvements 
Several airport improvements are planned or underway at the Aspen–Pitkin County Airport. An environmental assessment for a proposed extension of 1,000 ft (300 m) to the airport's existing runway was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in June 2010. That same month the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners approved the land use application for the runway extension project, giving the green light for construction. The extension will be at the south end of the runway, and used only for takeoffs to the north. (Due to high terrain south of the airport, the Aspen/Pitkin County airport typically operates in a "contra-flow" operation, with arrivals landing to the south and departures taking off to the north.) The runway extension will not alter the airport's existing aircraft wingspan limitation or aircraft weight limit. It will allow existing commercial aircraft to fill more seats on existing flights, seats which can be unavailable due to the high density altitudes often experienced at the airport.
Construction on the runway extension project began on April 4, 2011, and was completed on November 2, 2011.
The airport is also conducting an update of its 2004 Airport Master Plan. This plan, scheduled for completion in late 2011 will update the airport activity forecasts and further evaluate potential improvements to the west side of the airport that were broadly identified in the 2004 Airport Master Plan.
One of the potential improvements included in the 2012 Updated Master Plan is the construction of a new airport terminal. The new terminal would be an 80,000 square foot, two story structure with eight boarding gates. If constructed, it will be capable of serving a projected 250,452 enplanements by 2017. The estimate of this new terminal, along with a proposed underground parking structure, is $121.8 million.
Operating limitations 
Per Title X of the Pitkin County Code, the airport has several unique operating limitations. Due to non-standard runway/taxiway separation, the airport has a 95 ft (29 m) aircraft wingspan limitation. Aircraft weight is restricted to 100,000 pounds (45,000 kg) maximum certificated gross landing weight or less. The Aspen – Pitkin County Airport also has an airport operating curfew. No aircraft operations are permitted between 2300 local and 0700 local. No aircraft departures are permitted after 22:30 local. FAR Part 36 Stage II aircraft operations are not permitted more than 30 minutes after official sunset.
Airport operations 
The Aspen–Pitkin County Airport is certificated as a Class I, ARFF Index B commercial service airport under FAR Part 139. The airport's operations department is responsible for daily compliance with FAA Part 139, including daily airport safety inspections, rules and regulations enforcement, and aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF). In July 2009, the airport took delivery of a new, state of the art Oshkosh Striker 1500 Index B ARFF truck. Mutual aid response to airport incidents is provided by the Aspen Fire Department, Pitkin County Sheriffs Department, Aspen Ambulance, and others.
Airport operations staff operates from the airport's Operations Center, constructed in 2006 on the west side of the airport. This facility houses airport operations and facilities maintenance staff, as well as the airport's fleet of ARFF, snow removal, and other airport equipment.
Airlines and destinations 
|American Eagle||Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles|
|United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines||Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago-O'Hare
Seasonal: Houston-Intercontinental, San Francisco
Current commercial aircraft & past airline service 
- American Eagle Airlines flies the Canadair CRJ-700 regional jet on behalf of American Airlines.
- SkyWest Airlines flies the Canadair CRJ-700 regional jet on behalf of United Airlines operating as United Express.
Historically, the airport was served by a number of airlines over the years including Aspen Airways which introduced the first scheduled passenger jet service into Aspen with new British Aerospace BAe 146-100 four engine jetliners.
Before initiating jet service, Aspen operated Convair 580 turboprops as well as other prop and turboprop aircraft. Aspen Airways went on to become a United Express carrier and was then subsequently acquired by Air Wisconsin which continued to serve the airport with BAe 146 jetliners operating as United Express. Another BAe 146 jet operator that served Aspen was TriStar Airlines with nonstop service to Los Angeles.
Mesaba Airlines operating as Northwest Airlink flew the Avro RJ85, a later version of the BAe 146 jet, on seasonal nonstop flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul and Memphis on behalf of Northwest Airlines. Rocky Mountain Airways served Aspen as well with de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter twin engine turboprops and later with new, 50 passenger DHC-7 Dash 7 four engine turboprops. RMA was the worldwide launch customer for the Dash 7 and was also Aspen Airways primary competitor on the Aspen-Denver route for many years. Rocky Mountain Airways later operated Continental Express feeder service into Aspen with its turboprop aircraft when Continental Airlines operated a connecting hub in Denver. In addition, Mesa Airlines served the airport flying de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 turboprops with flights to Denver operating as United Express and also separately as America West Express with Dash 8 flights to Phoenix. Mountain Air Express (MAX) served Aspen as well flying Dornier 328 propjets via a codesharing agreement with Western Pacific Airlines which was based in Colorado.
More recently, Lynx Aviation flying on behalf of Frontier Airlines operated Bombardier Q400 turboprops into Aspen. The Q400 is the latest, largest and fastest version of the Dash 8; however, this feeder service to Denver for Frontier was subsequently discontinued.
General aviation 
- FAA Airport Master Record for ASE ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective 29 July 2010.
- "Aspen Airport - General Information". Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- "Runway Extension Completed". Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. 2012. Retrieved 4 Dec 2012.
- Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, official web site
- Aspen-Pitkin County Airport at Colorado DOT Division of Aeronautics
- Aerial image as of 14 October 1999 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for ASE, effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: