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Notice of Airport Master Plan Update Public Information Workshop

5:30pm to 7:30pm
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Mt. Evans Room at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport

Interested citizens are invited to a meeting concerning the update of Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport’s Master Plan. The meeting will be held Thursday, October 8th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Mt. Evans Meeting Room at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport 11755 Airport Way, Broomfield, Colorado.

The primary topic of discussion will be the Airport’s long-term development recommendations. The public will have the opportunity to view the alternatives, ask questions, and provide input.

Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport Reaction to the USA Today Article "Feds keep little-used airports in business"

The 9/17/09 issue of the USA Today story and a companion news segment on NBC’s Today Show video, represented an extremely slanted view of Airport/Aviation business operations in the United States. Communities all over the U.S. have the world’s safest and most efficient network of over 5200 General Aviation Airport’s. In Colorado alone, there are 60 General Aviation Airport’s. The article and subsequent news report ignored the fact that this side of general aviation remains a critical part of the national air transportation system. Both stories presented skewed views toward major airlines and expressed opinion that improvement dollars should only be applied toward airports that provide only scheduled passenger service. This seems incredibly short sided and ill-informed.

The parent company of USA Today and NBC News operate General Aviation (GA) aircraft. Why? Because aircraft are a critical tool for business transportation needs, saving time and money. At any given moment, news agencies may need transportation to a GA Airport near a large city following a natural disaster or they may need access to a small rural community for a news story and the closest airport with passenger service has limited accessibility that does not meet the urgency of the news story. New Orleans International Airport was closed to airline service for two weeks following Hurricane Katrina. How many big media outlets utilized one of several nearby Louisiana general aviation airports for this significant event?

General Aviation is Business, and serves as the economic engine for the community, large or small. Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Metro Airport) has an economic annual impact of over $363 million with employment of over 3700 jobs. The FAA has invested $56 million in capital improvements over the past 28 years at Metro Airport – a rather smart investment! Those capital funds invested into this airport were generated not just from taxes paid by passengers for airlines tickets, but also from every gallon of fuel purchased for aviation.

The USA Today article also failed to mention that every tax dollar spent on an airline ticket also goes towards other critical aviation services, such as air traffic control, navigation and safety inspection. General Aviation capital improvements are paid for with the help of federal funds that are generated from aviation. The local airport sponsor also makes a significant investment not only through matching funds, but also the commitment to operate the airport as independently as possible, as a business for minimum of 20 years, meeting federal assurances to protect the FAA, the airport sponsor and their stakeholders. Maybe USA Today and NBC News will keep that in mind the next time a major airline files Chapter 11 or goes to Washington D.C. to lobby for government bailouts and taxpayer subsidies.

Kenneth Maenpa, Airport Manager, Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Jefferson County, Colorado.
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