Data from the FAA debunks the myth that fractional operators grab most of the holiday slots at the Colorado mountain airports, namely Eagle, Aspen and Rifle Airports. For the most recent holiday season (December 19 to January 4), fractionals accounted for 455 of the 1,467 slots at Aspen, which equates to 31 percent; 409 of 1,121 at Eagle (36 percent); and 191 of 484 at Rifle (39 percent).
Roaring Fork Valley
West Star Aviation has taken over maintenance operations at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE). The company has located two full-time maintenance technicians there, with Jim Benninger taking the position as Aspen airframe team leader. In addition, due to the close proximity to the company’s Grand Junction facility, it can staff the ASE operation as required to meet work demand.
Aspen Jetride, the charter operator that acquired the assets of Aspen Executive Air (AEXJet) after AEXJet filed for bankruptcy protection last year, has ceased operations and surrendered its operating certificate, according to an FAA spokesman. Aspen Jetride, formerly known as Jetride, finalized the AEXJet acquisition in January. The company was originally known as Pinnacle Air until it purchased Columbus, Ohio-based Jetride in 2006.
Aspen Jetride, the charter operator that acquired the assets of Aspen Executive Air (AEXJet) after AEXJet filed for bankruptcy protection last year, has ceased operations and surrendered its operating certificate, according to an FAA spokesman for the Southwest region. Aspen Jetride, formerly known as Jetride, finalized the AEXJet acquisition in January and added “Aspen” to its name in April.
Aspen Avionics announced an expanded roster of airplanes approved for installation of its EFD1000 Evolution PFD, now available for more than 600 makes and models of GA airplanes weighing up to 6,000 pounds. Higher-gross-weight airplanes will be added to the list by year-end, the company said. The Aspen PFD replaces the attitude indicator and directional gyro in typical instrument panels and costs $5,995 to $12,995, depending on the version.
Aspen Avionics on December 19 revealed that it has been forced to delay deliveries of its Evolution primary flight display (PFD) until March due to unexpected problems with environmental qualification testing. Aspen had planned to begin deliveries of the PFD late last year, and 240 authorized avionics dealers have ordered “huge, scary numbers” of the units, according to Doug Cayne, Aspen vice president of marketing.
Eclipse Aviation and Aspen Avionics last month settled a patent dispute over the AT300 hazard awareness display. Under the settlement agreement, Eclipse dropped a competing patent claim in exchange for 1 percent of Aspen common stock. The VLJ maker had contended that Aspen cofounders Peter Lyons and Jeff Bethel developed the AT300 product while they worked at Eclipse and, therefore, the patent for the product should belong to Eclipse.
Co-owner and general manager of Aspen Base Operation Cliff Runge expects to close on a deal today or tomorrow to sell the FBO at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (Sardy Field) to Trajen FBO Network, the growing chain backed by private equity firm CapStreet. The Aspen location would be the 18th for Trajen.
The FAA plans to evaluate a new and less restrictive special traffic management program (STMP) this year to manage operations at Colorado ski-country airports, including Aspen-Pitkin, Eagle-Vail, Montrose, Garfield-Rifle and Telluride.
IFR special traffic management programs (STMP) are in effect during the ski season at three Colorado airports (Aspen, Eagle and Rifle) during these dates: February 15 through February 20 and March 15 through April 3. The daily STMP start/end times this year begin each day at 8 a.m. MST and end at 6 p.m. MST to help align the STMP with sunrise/sunset times, since many operators are unable to operate outside daylight hours.
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