Telluride Regional Airport
Telluride Regional Airport
|Owner||Telluride Regional Airport Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||9,078 ft / 2,767 m|
Telluride Regional Airport (IATA: TEX, ICAO: KTEX, FAA LID: TEX) is a public airport six miles west of Telluride, in San Miguel County, Colorado. It is owned by the Telluride Regional Airport Authority. At an elevation of 9,078 feet (2767 m) above sea level, it was the highest commercial airport in North America with scheduled passenger flights when Great Lakes Airlines resumed scheduled passenger service in December 2016; however, those flights then ceased in March 2018. In August 2018, commercial service returned with the introduction of Boutique Air and the airport remains the highest airfield in the U.S. with scheduled passenger flights.
Facilities and aircraft
Telluride Regional Airport covers 542 acres (219 ha) and has one runway, 9/27, 6,911 by 100 feet (2,106 by 30 m). The runway is on a plateau and still dips slightly in the center, although the dip was more pronounced prior to a renovation in 2009. It can be a challenging but beautiful approach for pilots. In the past during winter months, about 20% of the scheduled commuter airline flights were diverting to other airports because of abruptly adverse landing conditions. This is not unusual since other mountain airports like Sun Valley have similar statistics. When flying to the Telluride Regional Airport, pilots must be aware of unique issues impacting the airfield including high terrain exceeding 14,000 feet (4,300 m), as well as the airport's location on a plateau with a thousand-foot (300 m) drop to the San Miguel River below.
In the year ending April 30, 2007 the airport had 26,709 aircraft operations, average 73 per day: 53% air taxi, 35% general aviation and 12% scheduled commercial. 42 aircraft were then based at this airport: 60% single-engine, 21% multi-engine, 7% jet, 2% helicopter and 10% glider.
Airline and destination
Historical airline service
During the late 1980s, Rocky Mountain Airways operating as Continental Express on behalf of Continental Airlines was flying 50-passenger seat de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprops nonstop to Denver (DEN) and Aspen (ASE). The four-engine, STOL capable Dash 7 was the largest aircraft ever to provide scheduled passenger service into Telluride. By the 1990s, the airport had ski season nonstop passenger flights to Denver, Phoenix, and Los Angeles during the winter months. Mesa Airlines operating Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia and Beechcraft 1900 turboprops flew nonstop to Denver as United Express and to Phoenix (PHX) as US Airways Express. Later US Airways Express services to Phoenix were flown with de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 turboprops as the EMB-120s were retired. SkyWest Airlines operating as the Delta Connection flew nonstop Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia service to Los Angeles (LAX). StatesWest Airlines flew Beechcraft 1900C turboprops flew nonstop to Laughlin, NV/Bullhead City, AZ with continuing service to Los Angeles. Great Lakes Airlines flew Beechcraft 1900Ds nonstop to Denver; however, Great Lakes then discontinued all service to Telluride on September 16, 2014. Great Lakes returned to the airport in December 2016 with flights to Denver and later Phoenix. The airport has never had scheduled airline jet service although private business jets do operate into the Telluride Regional Airport. In the absence of airline jet flights, scheduled passenger jet service is available via the Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), the Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) and the Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT).
In March 2018, Great Lakes Airlines ceased all of the their operations flown with turboprop aircraft network-wide once again leaving Telluride Regional Airport without scheduled passenger air service. Passenger air service then returned in August 2018 when Boutique Air initiated new flights operated with Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft.
Between April 7 and November 4 of 2009, the Telluride runway was closed for a $24 million runway renovation. The west end of the runway was lowered 30 feet, and the east end 14 ft. The material removed was placed in the center, removing the notorious dip in the middle of the runway. In addition, 41 feet of length was added to the runway and retaining walls were built on the side. In 2010, crews widened the airfield's safety areas from 150 feet to 250 feet, installed an Engineered Materials Arrestor System (EMAS) and finished ancillary aspects of the projects. Work on the EMAS was scheduled at night to prevent disrupting operations. This system is designed in part to allow larger aircraft to utilize the airport.
Part of an episode of The Grand Tour was filmed at the airport, in which the presenters tried to get some Jaguar Cars up to 100 mph (160 km/h) and then stop before going over the cliff at the end of the runway.
- "Telluride Regional Airport". Tellurideairport.com. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
- FAA Airport Master Record for TEX ( PDF), effective 2008-06-05
- Criado, Justin (2018-03-28). "TEX loses commercial air service again". Telluride Daily Planet. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- "Boutique Air Launches Flights to Telluride Airport". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
- "Telluride Airport landing in a Mitsubishi MU-2". YouTube. 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
- http://www.flysvra.com/pdfs/press-releases/Diversions-Big-Problem-at-FMAA-April-2011.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "Unusual Airports: Telluride Regional Airport". Bing. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 1, 1987, Continental Airlines system timetable
- "Great Lakes pulls out of Telluride | News". telluridenews.com. 2014-12-01. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
- "KTEX - Telluride Regional Airport". AirNav. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
- Gray, Tim (April 2017). "Amazon's The Grand Tour Hosts Visit Colorado". KEKB (FM). Retrieved 12 January 2018.
Jeremy Clarkson sitting behind the wheel of a Jaguar on the runway of the Telluride Airport
- FAA TEX
- FAA Terminal Procedures for TEX, effective January 31, 2019
- Resources for this airport: