Eagle County’s airport had a very good winter | VailDaily.com

Eagle County’s airport had a very good winter

Passenger numbers continue to climb at the facility

Passenger numbers and private aviation traffic both increased at the Eagle County Regional Airport over the winter.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily archive
The airport of the future Eagle County Regional Airport officials are currently working on a master plan to chart the future of the facility. Public input meetings are set for June 6 and June 7. For more information, go to egemasterplan.com.

It was a good winter at the Eagle County Regional Airport, and there’s plenty of work being done to make the facility ready for winters to come.

The Eagle County Board of Commissioners heard an update Tuesday from Eagle County Aviation Director David Reid and Assistant Director Josh Miller.

The news started with an update on winter traffic at the airport.

Ski season service came to the airport from 13 cities, including a new route from Austin, Texas.

Reid said the Austin route was “still growing” through the season, but added there’s no assurance the flight will return for the coming winter. “We’d like more locals to get on it,” Reid said.

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Those flights brought more people for the 2022-23 season than the 2021-22 season.

Numbers from the Transportation Security Administration show that the agency processed 12.5% more passengers in the 2022-23 season than the season before.

For the season, there were 159,645 commercial passengers through the security checkpoints. For the 2019-20 season, 129,812 people went through security screenings.

In all, emplanements for the year to date are more than 16% higher than the average of the same period in the previous three years.

While more people through the airport is a good thing, Reid and his team are looking for more.

Reid and County Manager Jeff Shroll in March went to an industry conference and were pleased with the reception they received from some airlines.

The most promising may be from Aeromexico. Officials from that airline said they’re eager to learn when a new international terminal will be done.

“They’ve had their eye on Eagle for a while,” especially now that plans for that terminal are in place, Reid said.

The county contingent also had good conversations with Allegiant Air, a low-cost carrier, and Delta Airlines is apparently looking to expand its service.

On the other hand, Alaska Airlines, which had been eyed as a possible new airline for the airport is now out of the picture, Reid said.

And, Shroll added, locals have had “good conversations” with Southwest Airlines, but that company doesn’t have aircraft available for the job.

Airport officials also noted that there are changes coming to parking at the airport. A private firm, LAZ Parking, has been hired to oversee operations at the facility. No fee changes are anticipated for now, but Shroll said, he expects use of the parking lot for long-term vehicle storage “is going to come to a screeching halt.”

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