Led by architect Charles Cunniffe, Aspen’s airport is undergoing renovations.
It may be the most important building in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is not only the locals’ link to the rest of the world but also the portal that welcomes visitors and skiers, the lifeblood our economy, here to the community. But the current terminal, originally constructed in 1976 as the first commercial building in the nation to use passive solar heating, is getting to be, well, a bit tired.
Now, four decades later, plans are being made to bring the airport and its current facilities up to 21st century standards. Aspen Airport Director Daniel P. Bartholomew is bullish on the future. “I am absolutely looking forward to the implementation and improvements to the Aspen Airport in the coming decade,” says Bartholomew. “Our initial, proposed projects will focus primarily on the passenger experience, along with a number of environmentally green initiatives.”
In the initial design approach, local architect Charles Cunniffe opted for a bright, open and airy design aesthetic that shows off Aspen at its best. “As a frequent flyer and local pilot myself, I understand that we should provide a unique Aspen experience in a low-key, humble way,” he says.
A diverse seven-member citizens Airport Advisory Board has been appointed to work with the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners, the FAA and Aspen’s fixed base operator Atlantic Aviation to create the framework for the new airport. The opportunity to make the airport the most environmentally friendly facility possible will be a key focus of the board. Longtime local and advisory board member Howie Mallory pointed to several areas where environmental impacts can be mitigated. “We can hopefully address operations at the ground level, how things operate on the tarmac, the impact of the planes themselves and how traffic to and from the terminal affects the carbon footprint of any improved or new structure,” says Mallory. “This is a really important initiative for our community going forward.” Look for friendly—and cleaner—skies in the future for the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. 233 Airport Road