Steamboat Springs Airport seeking public feedback on master plan |

Steamboat Springs Airport seeking public feedback on master plan

A Flight for Life Colorado Learjet waits outside the Steamboat Springs Airport. (File photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In order to keep receiving 95% of its grant funding from the Colorado Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration, Steamboat Springs is gearing up to submit a master plan for the Steamboat Springs Airport, which it reviews every 10 to 15 years.

“The master plan update helps us develop the airport so that it meets the requirements and demand for what happens in the future,” said Stacie Fain, airport manager. “It’s very important that the community be aware of what’s going on in their airport.”

While most people visiting Steamboat fly into the Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, Fain said community members should still be involved in the Steamboat airport because it serves medical and fire helicopters in the community as well as private planes flying into the city.

“This process has generated great input and suggestions over the more than year and counting process from a wide variety of entities,” said project manager Leah Whitfield with The Aviation Planning Group, the consultant on the project. “As a result, the final airport master plan will guide the orderly development of the Steamboat Springs Airport over the next 20 years.”

The proposed plan includes three chapters based around compliance, safety and capacity as guiding principles for the process.

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“This master plan follows a systematic and sequential development, as required by the Federal Aviation Administration, which corresponds to the chapters of the report,” Whitfield said.

The plan also outlines six subcategories for the airport’s future — safety, efficiency, environmental awareness, fiscal sustainability, land management and communication.

Each category lists several goals:

Safety: Maintain a safe and secure operating environment; provide safe facilities for aircraft, vehicles and pedestrians; comply with FAA design standards when practicable; enhance security for tenants, users and the public; and maintain safe aircraft operating surfaces.

Efficiency: Maintain or enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the airport’s operations; maintain and enhance the capacity of the existing runway and services offered; accommodate forecast growth as practicable and develop facilities that improve the efficiency; and reduce costs of airport maintenance.

Environmental Awareness: Operate and develop the airport in a way that minimizes negative environmental impacts; consider the noise sensitivity of nearby neighborhoods; and minimize noise impacts and consider recommendations of other local plans.

Fiscal Sustainability: Enhance the longer-term fiscal sustainability of the airport; consider the airport’s role as an economic asset and enhance its ability to promote economic growth; and enhance the airport’s ability to generate additional revenues to become more self-sufficient.

Land Management: Facilitate longer-term the airport’s development through strategic land management planning; promote the highest use of the airport property to best serve aviation; provide flexibility for future development; and maximize use of existing facilities at the airport, where appropriate.

Communication: Engage stakeholders through open communication; encourage participation from all stakeholders; and ensure the airport’s positive impacts on the community are communicated.

Whitfield said if the city chooses to expand the airport, the master plan helps City Council and airport staff plan future zoning around the airport so the city does not build where the airport could potentially expand.

“It’s a once-a-decade-type project that really plans what we should be doing for the next 10 years or longer,” Whitfield said.

The plan can be found at, and anyone interested in commenting can send their thoughts to

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