Members of Glenwood Springs City Council will be hosting an airport listening session Thursday, February 24 at Sopris Elementary School. Residents are encouraged to drop-in any time from 5:30-8:30 p.m. for opportunities to learn more about the recent findings of the Airspace Study and weigh in on various airport and South Bridge planning areas.
City Council has identified three primary objectives for the meeting.
- Bring into the open community input, ideas, reactions, concerns, and hopes related to the airport operations and its future.
- Give the community critical information collected from airspace study and South Bridge processes related to the airport’s future.
- Restore civility and respect to conversations about the operation of the airport and its future and use this listening session to ensure that different views of the future are heard and understood.
Topics and discussion areas include the Airspace Study, Immediate Airport Safety & Operational Considerations, Financial Summaries, and general feedback. City Council has also asked for the community to provide input on different land scenarios for the airport and South Bridge area. There will be five scenarios open for comment: keeping the runway in its current location and building a tunnel for South Bridge; shifting the runway north; shortening the runway; eliminating the runway; and lengthening the runway.
Individuals unable to attend the meeting in-person will also have an opportunity to view materials for the session and provide comment online at https://cogs.us/341/Airport beginning on February 24. Comments may also be submitted by email to AirportComments@cogs.us.
The direct link to the online comment forum is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8NW8CVS.
The City of Glenwood Springs recently completed an Airspace Study for the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport as part of research for the South Bridge Project. This study was to investigate the concept of moving the airport runway north in order to eliminate the need for a tunnel under the South Bridge project and keep approximately the same length of runway.
In the findings of the study (for the scenario if the runway is shifted north), many obstructions to the conceptual airspace surfaces were identified, mostly trees and some buildings. Airspace surfaces refers to the area above the earth used for takeoff, flying or landing. Although additional analysis has not yet been done, the current geometry of the runway indicates that there are an even greater number of obstructions in the existing airspace surfaces. Regardless of if the runway stays in the same location or is shifted north, obstructions will need to be removed or mitigated.
Based on the existing or conceptual alignment of the airport runway, there are obstructions on both public and private property that would need to be removed or mitigated. A letter to notify affected residents is being mailed, but it can also be read online at https://cogs.us/341/Airport.
“Please note that we’re at the beginning of this process and that there are some variables that are still in the air that could affect the scope of impact including if the runway moves or not. Assuming the runway is not moved, the City is making plans to begin removing obstructions on City property beginning in 2023 followed by obstructions on private property,” said Public Information Officer Bryana Starbuck.
The City would like to work with local landowners whose properties contain obstructions to develop a plan to remove or mitigate the obstructions to improve airport safety. Exact details have not yet been determined, but the City would not expect private property owners to cover the cost of removal.