News and Insights

Air pollutant study shows high concentration at Buttermilk during high-traffic hours

By Rich Allen, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
17 March 2023

On Thursday, local nonprofit Aspen Fly Right released a 33-page essay on air pollutants near the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, finding substantial upticks related to increased traffic along Highway 82 but not taking measurements on the nanoparticles that make up a large component of jet exhaust, urging further study on the matter.

Read the entire article

Aspen Fly Right holds meeting on airport’s future

14 March 2023

As the debate on the future of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport continues, local nonprofit Aspen Fly Right is urging a prioritization of new aviation technology before committing to expensive and potentially outdated changes.

In a community meeting Monday night at the Pitkin County Library, Amory Lovins, president of the nonprofit, suggested that inbound developments in electric and hybrid planes may pose a solution to many of the topics of discussion such as aircraft size, capacity, noise and public safety.

Read the entire article

An airport town hall hopes for a greener, smaller future for Aspen’s airside

By Josie Taris
13 March 2023

As Pitkin County grapples over the future of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, a community group led by one of the valley’s most well-known thinkers stepped up to offer its analysis.

Aspen Fly Right is a nonprofit group whose mission is to offer scientific, actionable information relating to the airport. The group hosted an airport “Town Hall” in the Dunaway Community Room at the Pitkin County Library Monday evening, which drew a crowd of about 60 people.

Read the entire article

Pitkin County faces challenge reducing airport emissions


Pitkin County officials are facing the daunting challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the airport at a time when aircraft operations, particularly private ones, are on the rise.

The county commissioners and the Airport Advisory Board have set a goal of reducing airport emissions by 30% by 2030 from a baseline established by using the average of emissions from 2019 and 2020.

“Meanwhile, we have a challenge because fuel sales and related emissions are on the climb,” Airport Advisory Board member Rick Heede told the commissioners Tuesday. “We need to bend the curve to the downside by 2030.”

Read the entire article

Airport assumptions

Letter to the Editor, Aspen Daily News
23 January 2023


There has been a lot of discussion around the airport lately, although in reading the papers, you might have missed it. There seems to be a media drought around it locally. The Aspen Airport Board and the Pitkin BOCC seem to be stuck in the same debate they have historically proposed. We will “run out” of available airplanes suitable to fly into Aspen and provide the 17% of commercial flights that serve the bulk of our community.

Well, it’s 2023 and there is no end in sight for the use of these planes. SkyWest was forecasted to retire half of them by a year ago and all by 2025, but has actually retired zero. The county’s own top technical consultant on aviation disputes this. Thus, the most basic parameter underlying the push for bigger planes was misforecast by decades; the argument for reconfiguring the runway and taxiway to allow larger planes was based on inaccurate information. It brings into question what other information we might have gotten wrong and what other misinformation we are still hearing that will set our airport strategy and size. For information on this debate, go to

Susan Taylor
Woody Creek

Read the entire article

New nonprofit, Aspen Fly Right, to tout airport options

By Andre Salvail, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
18 December 2022

Renowned physicist and Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder Amory Lovins and others who are concerned about Pitkin County’s direction on local airport redevelopment have ­started a nonprofit with the goal of exploring alternate ideas and sharing them with the community.

The nonprofit is called Aspen Fly Right, and a website has been created ( The group began running full-page advertisements in Aspen’s daily newspapers late last week and plans to do so on a regular basis. The ads will explore different topics each week, Lovins said Saturday.

Read the entire article

ASE: Playing it safe, at the safety dance

By Andre Salvail, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
18 December 2022

Safety, safety, safety.

It’s a word that’s repeated often during nearly any discussion involving the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport and plans for its redevelopment, or airport operations in general.

Safety was a primary topic during the 2019-20 ASE Vision process that led to the formation and adoption of the lengthy list of ­Common Ground recommendations for the redevelopment of the airport. Often, various forms of data are used to support the perception — some say the conclusion — that general aviation operations at the airport are less safe than commercial airline activity. Private jet activity, according to airport officials, accounts for around 80% of overall operations at ASE while commercial flight operations make up about 20%.

Read the entire article