Business group to discuss airport vision

LOVELAND – A group of business people will approach the Airport Steering Committee at its meeting Thursday to discuss their vision for Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport.

Members of a group tasked by the cities to come up with ideas on how to improve the airport and surrounding area will meet with government officials at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce on Thursday afternoon.

The group, which includes business people in Northern Colorado, aims to develop a business plan and vision for the airport, which might include forming an airport authority, committee member Rich Shannon said.

Shannon emphasized that the group did not have a goal to form an authority to govern the airport.

“Our goal is to create a vision for the airport that addresses both on-airport and off-airport development,” he said. “The authority may be a means to get to that goal.”

Shannon said the study committee’s next step will be to visit airports in other cities to learn more. They will later offer a business plan and suggestions to local officials on how to improve the airport.

The Airport Steering Committee includes the mayors and city managers of the cities of Loveland and Fort Collins.

Updates on air service and the airport’s plane parking area rehabilitation project also are on Thursday’s meeting agenda.

Allegiant, which had been the airport’s only commercial airline, stopped air service in October 2012 although the number of passengers boarding commercial planes had increased to 44,999 in 2011 from 35,671 in 2010. Allegiant chief executive Maury Gallagher blamed the lack of an air-traffic control tower and too many general-aviation aircraft in the sky.

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