Airport group seeks input |

Airport group seeks input

Public hearing Thursday gives residents a voice

If you go

What: Public hearing hosted by the Steamboat Springs Airport Steering Committee, to gather public input on airport study and review

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Olympian Hall, Howelsen Hill Lodge

Contact: Call the city transportation department at 879-3717.

— Michael Turner said he knows supporters of Steamboat Springs Airport will show up at Thursday’s public hearing – it’s attendance from people who question the airport that concerns him.

“We want to hear from people who have other concerns and ideas about the airport,” Turner said. “They need to be part of this process.”

Along with Jack Dysart, Turner has recently been named co-chairman of the Steamboat Springs Airport Steering Committee, a seven-member group that began meeting in August to oversee two studies regarding the airport. One study is under way and will create an update of the airport’s master plan. Conducted by Armstrong Consultants, an airport engineering and planning services firm based in Grand Junction, the master plan study will use significant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to assess possibilities for future growth and development at the airport.

A consulting firm has yet to be hired for the second study, which the committee has named the “comprehensive airport review.” That study is designed to examine the range of uses for the 255-acre airport site, from closing the airport to “full development,” Steamboat Springs Director of Transportation George Krawzoff said.

Thursday’s public hearing is intended to gather public input on what should be included in the scope of work for the comprehensive study, to allow the committee to prepare a proposal for potential consulting firms that could conduct the study.

“Public participation in this process is essential to ensure that the review is as comprehensive as possible, and : to hear all suggestions for alternate use or management structure,” Turner and Dysart wrote in a statement about the hearing.

Turner said all questions presented at the hearing will be considered during the process and published as part of the committee’s final report to the Steamboat Springs City Council, which appointed the group in May.

Krawzoff has said local debates about the best use for the Steamboat Springs Airport site, and about the airport’s economic impact on the community, have been a part of his job since he began in 1997.

“I think there have been misconceptions and unsubstantiated claims of fact on both sides,” Turner said. “Our goal is, through the public process, to provide people with the information they need.”

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