Officials from Allegiant Air, the Northern Colorado Regional Airport, Loveland and Fort Collins pop confetti to celebrate Allegiant restarting service to the area. Dan Mika/For BizWest

Allegiant cancels NoCo Regional Airport service ahead of November restart

LOVELAND — Allegiant Travel Co. (Nasdaq: ALGT) is pulling its service at Northern Colorado Regional Airport because it doesn’t have air traffic towers set up yet.

Allegiant spokeswoman Hilarie Grey told BizWest the Las Vegas-based airline expected to have a physical air traffic control tower up sometime in September or October before flights started in November, but conversations with the airport and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration made it clear that it wouldn’t be up and running with enough buffer time.

The delay was caused by contractor issues, she said.

Grey declined to say how many reservations were already made for the routes, but said bookings on the flights were “brisk.” The airline is fully refunding passengers and notifying them by email.

“We’re as disappointed as they are to meet that demand at this time, but it would be irresponsible for us to start up service without that control tower in place,” she said.

It’s a major turn of events for the airport, which gathered local business and government leaders for a joint celebration with Allegiant in August over restarting flights from the region to Las Vegas and Phoenix. Allegiant previously closed its service in 2012.

Grey said Allegiant will consider restarting flights from the airport in the future once air traffic is set up, but couldn’t provide a timeline for how soon flights could restart once that tower is erected.

“We had to make a tough call, but we hope that we can consider flying there again in the future,” she said.

Northern Colorado Regional Airport manager Jason Licon said the airport’s tower is expected to be operational in January. The hope is to re-engage with Allegiant at that point.

“Allegiant assuaged their announcement [of service starting at Northern Colorado Regional Airport] based on the timelines for completion of our remote tower project,” Licon said. “Because those timelines have changed and there could be other delays in the future, it’s less risky [for Allegiant] to just pull the flights now and reassess when the tower is operational.”

While the airport and the FAA work to complete the tower, Northern Colorado Regional Airport officials are in ongoing discussions with other carriers.

“There are a lot of [airlines] who are taking a good look at Northern Colorado and our airport now that some of these infrastructure pieces are coming along,” Licon said. “We’ve got the ability to be attractive to not just one, but multiple carriers.”

BizWest reporter Lucas High contributed to this story.

LOVELAND — Allegiant Travel Co. (Nasdaq: ALGT) is pulling its service at Northern Colorado Regional Airport because it doesn’t have air traffic towers set up yet.

Allegiant spokeswoman Hilarie Grey told BizWest the Las Vegas-based airline expected to have a physical air traffic control tower up sometime in September or October before flights started in November, but conversations with the airport and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration made it clear that it wouldn’t be up and running with enough buffer time.

The delay was caused by contractor issues, she said.

Grey declined to say how many reservations were already made for the routes, but said bookings on the flights were “brisk.” The airline is fully refunding passengers and notifying them by email.

“We’re as disappointed as they are to meet that demand at this time, but it would be irresponsible for us to start up service without that control tower in place,” she said.

It’s a major turn of events for the airport, which gathered local business and government leaders for a joint celebration with Allegiant in August over restarting flights from the region to Las Vegas and Phoenix. Allegiant previously closed its service in 2012.

Grey said Allegiant will consider restarting flights from the airport in the future once air traffic is set up, but couldn’t provide a timeline for how soon flights could restart once that tower is erected.

“We had to make a tough call, but we hope that we can consider flying there again in the future,” she said.

Northern Colorado Regional Airport manager Jason…