Aspen airport landing fees rise; effect on passenger fares unknown

Associated Press

Landing fees at the airport serving the Aspen ski resorts will increase by 4 percent in 2015, but it wasn't immediately clear whether fares would increase as a result.

The Aspen Times reported Friday ( the fee for landing a typical commercial airliner at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport will rise to $345, from $332.

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The Pitkin County commissioners, who oversee the airport, approved increasing the fee for commercial planes to $5.15 per 1,000 pounds, from $4.95. Officials say rates were raised to help pay for future improvement projects.

United, Delta and American, the three airlines serving the airport, all fly CRJ-700 aircraft, which weigh about 67,000 pounds. They reported carrying a total of about 209,000 passengers to Aspen last year.

United, which accounted for 93 percent of the passengers landing in Aspen, is concerned about airport fees but usually does not comment on them, spokeswoman Mary Clark said. Clark said the airline works with airports to try to keep costs competitive.

Pitkin County Treasurer Tom Oken said the airlines were advised of the increase ahead of time and none submitted comments at a public hearing.

The county also increased rent for terminal space by 2 percent.

The landing fee for private aircraft will rise to $6.14 per 1,000 pounds next year, from $5.90. Locally based private aircraft are not charged the fee.

Commercial airplane landing fees generated a total of $1.4 million in 2013 and terminal rent generated $1.2 million, Oken told commissioners in a memo.

Private aircraft paid a total of $1.3 million in landing fees in in 2013, Oken said.


Information from: The Aspen Times,