Glenwood Springs City Council to host airport listening session
Community members invited to provide feedback on airport’s future
Glenwood Springs residents and members of the surrounding community can weigh in on the future of the airport during a listening session Thursday with city council.
Hosted from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Sopris Elementary School, 1150 Mt. Sopris Drive, the meeting is slated to be conducted like an open house, allowing attendees to come and go at their convenience, a news release states.
Some topics of conversation include the city’s recent airspace study, which identified hundreds of flight path obstructions surrounding the airport, immediate airport safety and operational considerations, financial summaries and general feedback.
City council’s goals for the listening session include collecting community input related to airport operations and its future, providing critical information about the airport’s future and restoring civility to conversations about the operation of the airport and its future as well as ensuring different views of the future are heard and understood, the news release states.
The council is also seeking feedback on different land scenarios for the airport and South Bridge area. Five scenarios will be 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 entirely or lengthening the runway, according to the news release.
Starting Thursday, materials for the session are slated to be available online at COGS.us/341/Airport and people who can’t attend can either comment online once the materials are made available or submit their feedback by email to AirportComments@cogs.us.
As part of research for the South Bridge Project, Glenwood Springs conducted an airspace study to analyze the feasibility of moving the airport runway north, which could eliminate the need for a tunnel under the South Bridge project and keep approximately the same length of runway, the news release states..
In the event of a runway shift, the study identified many obstructions to the conceptual airspace surfaces, mostly trees and some buildings. Airspace surfaces refers to the area above the earth used for takeoff, flying or landing.
Although additional analysis would be needed for other runway options, the release states the current geometry of the runway indicates an even greater number of obstructions could exist 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, according to the news release.
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 COGS.us/341/Airport.
“Please note that we’re at the beginning of this process,” Public Information Officer Bryana Starbuck said in the release. “There are some variables that are still in the air that could affect the scope of impact including if the runway moves or not.”
Glenwood Springs city staff plan to work with local landowners whose properties contain obstructions to develop a plan to remove or mitigate the obstructions to improve airport safety, the release states.
While the details have yet to be determined, the city does not expect private property owners to cover the cost of removal, according to the release.
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