Pete McBride’s iconic image, graciously shared here, captures 243 commercial and private flights in or out of Aspen Airport between 7 AM and 3 PM on Sunday 7 July 2019. Each image is an actual airplane, but some private planes’ paths, mostly on landings, have been moved very slightly right or left to separate overlapping images. More planes landed or took off later that day for a total of 290 tower operations—close to the airport’s nominal daily capacity of about 300 in good conditions.

We need a better terminal, not a bigger runway or bigger planes.

Aspen Fly Right supports a cleaner, quieter Aspen/Pitkin County Airport that serves and advances the whole community and that voters can support. This means:

  1. Modernize terminal and
    ground transport

  2. Repair runway

  3. Don’t redesign for bigger planes


Aspen Fly Right’s mission is to offer our community clear, sound, documented, actionable information about the future of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.

We’ll focus on the Airport’s proposed redesign to allow bigger planes—that is, on the “airside” where the planes operate, far more than on the “landside” zone of terminal, parking, and roads. We’ve formed no view about whether bigger planes are a good idea, but we do feel it’s far too soon, and not necessary, to make that choice now or probably even in this decade. Aviation innovation has become so rapid that superior solutions not yet considered should be in service before the currently planned airside redesign could even be built, and without its huge costs. Safety, terminal, impacts, and environment can and should be fixed meanwhile.

Structurally, Aspen Fly Right is an independent, noncommercial, nonprofit, nonpartisan public charity with public-benefit, scientific, and educational purposes. It’s governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Directors initially comprising four local residents whose biographical sketches are here. Its Board, staff, and technical advisors are unpaid volunteers. Aspen Fly Right is financed by private donations and grants that will be reported on this website in due course. It receives no government support. Aspen Fly Right is not connected with, derived from, or in succession to any other organization; it is completely self-directed and autonomous, has no known conflicts of interest, and exists solely to serve the public interest.

Please Join Us

Aspen Fly Right is allied with many members of the community who feel aligned with our mission. *

Endorsers of this effort include:

Ellen Anderson

Richard Arnold

Anne Austin-Clapper

Dr. Pat Boeshaar

James Brundige

Suzanne Caskey

Walter Chi

Jay Coursey

Leslie Desmond

Bill Dinsmoor

Wayne Ethridge

Judith Frey

Christopher Fris

Brandon Gonzales

John Guenther

Jay Hughes

Michael Kinsley

Joe Krabacher

Dr. Tom Kurt

Katherine H. Lindholm

Timothy R. Lindholm

Mary Little

Tricia Louthis

Prof. Amory and Judy Hill Lovins

Martha Madsen

John McBride

Pete McBride

Scott and Caroline McDonald

Tim and Donna McFlynn

Jackie Merrill

Tom Mooney

Paulina Vander Noordaa

Adam Olson

Peggy Oxford

Laurel Pace

Buzz Patten

Rob Pew

Eddie Rainer

Marina Rainer

Eric Reische

Doug and Jean Rhinehart

Polly Ross

Cliff Runge

George and Helen Schermerhorn

Matthew Shmigelsky

Stephanie Soldner

David Sontag

Kate Spencer

Sandy Stay

Susan Taylor

Prof. Tony Tyson

Tony Vagneur

Ed Zasacky

Bob and Terri Ziets

Mario Zulian

*If you’d like to be join our list, please send a note to, with your name as you’d like it to appear and a few parenthetical words of description. We also have anonymous allies, welcome more, and respect their need for privacy. And we welcome inquiries from potential volunteers.

Does Aspen Need Bigger Airplanes


Public comment will be allowed on June 28th—but not at the 1:00 PM June 27 Work Session, where Amory Lovins will discuss the Forecast with its authors in a public roundtable for the Commissioners.

Please tell the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners what you think of airside plans to accommodate bigger planes, by commenting at the June 28 Regular Session (530 E. Main St., 12:00 noon), or by writing to the Commissioners at:,,,,

Brandon Blocker, KSPN-FM, interviews Amory Lovins and Matt Moseley of Aspen Fly Right.

Grass Roots Community Network –