The Telluride Regional Airport, the nation's highest commercial facility at 9,078 feet, is currently embarked on a five to seven year improvement program which will allow regional commuter jets to land here. These jets can bring larger passenger loads, thus increasing the number of tourists visiting our area. The FAA will fund 90% of the cost of the improvements with TRA providing the other 10%.
The updated master plan represents a highly efficient layout for the Airport that better utilizes the existing land areas while maintaining the scenic open space that surrounds the facilities.
The Airport’s runway will be reconstructed to meet the FAA’s Category D-III safety standards. The safety improvements will include widening the runway safety areas on either side of the runway centerline from 150 feet to 250 feet, install Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) to each end of the runway to enhance the safety areas, and reduce the runway grade from 1.9% to less than 1.5%. The runway pavement areas will be replaced with new pavement, and a new runway lighting system will be installed. The new runway take-off length will be 7,320 feet.
In addition to the runway improvements, the Airport Layout Plan has redefined the areas for which airport operations will be conducted in the future. The area north of the runway will be for transient general aviation aircraft and scheduled air carrier operations. The facilities in this area have been relocated to provide the maximum utilization of space and provide the required secure areas needed in today’s security environment. The area south of the runway will be for based aircraft, and will provide both tie-down and hangar facilities, self-serve fueling station and restroom facilities.
The runway improvements will be phased over a five-year period and are expected to be completed by 2009. The other improvements will be completed based on demand and funding.
The airport continues to be an indispensable part of the Telluride experience. The airline guarantee program has completed its arrangements with American, Continental and United for service to both Montrose and Telluride. The program will ensure that there is adequate airline capacity to get skiers and other visitors here quickly and conveniently.
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