Competition Strong for Aspen FBO Lease

 - February 23, 2023, 11:36 AM
With its location in the heart of Colorado ski country and the upscale communities of Aspen, Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is no stranger to business jets. Seven FBO operators have thrown their hats into the ring to be the next operator of the private aviation facilities there. (Photo: Aspen-Pitkin County Airport)

With the window on the request for proposals (RFP) to operate the lone FBO at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport/Sardy Field (KASE) now closed, competition to take over the facility is heating up. Colorado’s Pitkin County this week announced the respondents to its request to “develop, construct, operate, maintain and manage first-class, state-of-the-art FBO facilities and services at the airport,” which serves the upscale ski resort area.

Incumbent Atlantic Aviation has managed the facility for more than 15 years and will see its lease expire at the end of September. The Texas-based chain—which now has more than 100 locations, mainly in the U.S.—is interested in remaining and was among those who submitted a proposal to the county.

The other respondents include a mix of large FBO chains such as Signature Flight Support and Jet Aviation; smaller-chain Modern Aviation; operators with a handful of locations—Odyssey Aviation and Sonoma Aviation; and Fontainebleau Aviation which operates its sole FBO at Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport.

According to the county, the proposals will go through multiple reviews and be scored on criteria specifically related to the RFP. It is eyeing the selection of an operator by midyear, with a potential lease starting on October 1.