Monday, December 23, 2013

Yampa Valley Airport (KHDN) schedules tours for beginning of 2014

Steamboat Springs — Public tours at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden have been full each month they’ve been offered since starting in September, according to airport manager Dave Ruppel.

The tours typically are limited to 12 people because of the mandated ratio of visitors to airport employees, and only December was without a tour, which was because of scheduling logistics, Ruppel said.

The slate of airport tours for the start of 2014 has been announced, and those who make the trip to Hayden during winter will get to see the facility in the full swing of its peak season.

Tours are scheduled for the following Wednesdays: 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 12, 1 to 3 p.m. March 19, 3 to 5 p.m. April 16 and 10 a.m. to noon May 14.

The tours are part of the airport’s ongoing master plan process.

The intent is “to give people an opportunity to see what’s going on behind the curtain, so to speak,” Ruppel said.

Members of the public who participate in a tour get to see behind the scenes in the Transportation Security Administration area, go out on the ramp and see how airlines handle baggage and tour snow removal and rescue and firefighting sections of the airport, among other things.

“They’ll actually see a lot of that stuff in operation,” Ruppel said about the tours.

Participants also get to hear a little about the master plan process and what will be included in the final report. The airport’s runway resurfacing project also is a topic during the tours.

During the first part of 2014, Yampa Valley Regional Airport also is slated to hold a few other meetings as part of the master plan process.

A Planning Advisory Committee meeting, a local community organizations stakeholder meeting and an open house public meeting are listed on the airport’s master plan timeline.

Those meetings have yet to be scheduled.

Planning Advisory Committee meetings started in 2013, Ruppel said, and occur when needed to review progress on the master plan.

The open house public meeting will be publicized ahead of whenever it’s scheduled, Ruppel said.

“It’s another opportunity to really let the public have access to the process,” he said.

The meeting would involve a presentation, and members of the public would then be allowed to ask questions about the presentation and the master plan.

“The tour doesn't necessarily focus on all those specifics,” Ruppel said.

The local community organizations stakeholder meeting would be similar in content to the open house, he said, but it’s designed to reach out to different groups of people.

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