Airport discussion to continue |

Airport discussion to continue

Runway maintanence work could be finished by end of week

Brandon Gee

Mark Rospierski of Graycor Blasting uses a high-pressure water gun to remove the stripping from the runway at the Steamboat Airport. The airport is closed this week, so work crews can seal the runways as part of normal maintenance.

— Steamboat Springs Airport is expected to remain closed through Friday for runway maintenance, although it could open sooner if no rain falls over Steamboat, airport manager Mel Baker said.

“If the weather holds, we’ll be able to open early on Wednesday,” Baker said.

The airport is closed this week for routine maintenance pavement, which requires planes usually parked at the airport be moved. That created a bit of a hassle at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden on Sunday.

“We had quite a number of general aviation aircraft who decided to move here,” said Dave Ruppel, YVRA manager. “Things got a little tight for a while.”

Ruppel said the flood of small planes from the Steamboat airport didn’t impact any commercial flights and that it “never became an overflow situation.”

“I don’t think it will be anymore of a problem,” Ruppel said.

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On Thursday, the fourth of five public meetings to discuss a master plan study for Steamboat Springs Airport will be held in Centennial Hall. The study is being conducted by Armstrong Consultants. The meeting’s location has been moved from the Transit Operations Center.

At the meeting, Armstrong Consultants will give a presentation on development alternatives for the airport. The alternatives are being evaluated on costs, environmental impacts and their ability to accommodate existing and future demand at the airport. Among the study’s previous conclusions is that existing activity levels at the airport are constrained by a lack of available hangars. Public comment will be welcome at the meeting.

Baker said anyone interested in the master plan study is welcome to attend the meeting.

“We’re about halfway through at this point,” Baker said. “It’s a work in progress.”

Even as the Armstrong Consultants study – at a cost of $216,000 – looks at the future use of and possible improvements to the airport, a separate $100,000 study by the Matrix Design Group is considering the development opportunities if the airport was done away with altogether.

Both studies are being overseen by a citizens steering committee. Baker said the Steamboat Springs Airport Steering Committee will go before the City Council on Aug. 7 to update it on the studies’ progress. Baker said the committee will not make formal recommendations to the council until February or March of next year, at the earliest.

Baker said the Armstrong study is exhaustive in its consideration of development alternatives at the airport, and will include some options that would never be recommended. He said everything has to be looked at so that there will be no need in the next few years to look at options that weren’t considered the first time around.

Additional information on the master plan study is available at

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