There’s one last shot for public to weigh in on Eagle County airport’s proposed master plan

Plan is expected to guide airport growth over the next 20 years

Consultants for the Eagle County Regional Airport will hold an Oct. 2 public input session regarding a proposed new master plan for the facility
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily archive

The Eagle County Regional Airport in the next 20 years will look quite a bit different than it does today. That’s why officials are working on a master plan to guide those changes.

The planning process, led by outside firms Jviation and the Guesler architecture firm, has been underway for about a year. The Eagle County Board of Commissioners could vote to approve the plan later this year.

The public will have one final chance to weigh in at the third, and final, public meeting regarding the airport’s proposed master plan. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 2. Residents can join through the meeting link at or by phone at 567-318-0093 using this pin: 595108743.

The consultants are working from 20-year projections, the most pessimistic of which still calls for modest growth over the coming years. The optimistic growth projection calls for an 18.7% increase in passenger numbers.

The work so far includes ways to improve capacity and operational efficiency. One of the biggest potential items is building another taxiway on the north side of the airport.

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Other parts of the plan include ideas to expand hangar space for private aircraft.

Planners also anticipate the Colorado National Guard’s High Altitude Aviation Training Site in the next 20 years will grow out of its current space on the north side of the airport.

Many airport improvements will include Federal Aviation Administration funding. That agency often funds up to 90% of project costs. The airport itself pays for other parts of its operation through fees collected from airlines, passengers and vendors rather than other county funds.

Private funds help develop general aviation improvements.

While many of the improvements are on the “air side” of the facility, there’s also a long list of potential improvements on the “land side,” including ticketing, baggage handling and vendors.

Expanding operations might also mean expanding parking, and may be difficult.

One idea proposed earlier this year was to move car rental operations off-site and shuttle guests to large rental lots on the south side of Cooley Mesa Road just east of the airport.

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Chris Baddick owns the Thrifty and Dollar rental car franchises, as well as Cooley Mesa Detailing, where rental cars are washed and serviced. Baddick at a June meeting said moving rental car fleets off-site would put Eagle County’s airport at a disadvantage compared to other mountain resort airports.

The consultants’ final report is expected to be submitted to the commissioners, as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration, by January 2024.

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