MYTHS ABOUT AIR SERVICE
DEVELOPMENT AT EAGLE COUNTY REGIONAL AIRPORT
“Vail and Beaver Creek are the center of the ski resort universe so airlines will make flights available without additional funding from EGE.”
The fact is airlines have a lot of options that may be more profitable to them than Eagle County Regional Airport and will not add flights or make additional seats available into the Eagle County Regional Airport without some risk mitigation in the form of additional funding.
“Airlines want to fly to Eagle Airport and are willing to do so at their own cost.”
Airlines need to be courted and educated about the opportunities at Eagle Airport. By using visitor data and other demographic airline data, some deals with the airlines can take years to put together. Even then, minimum revenue guarantees are commonly necessary to mitigate the initial risk of a new route in the airline industry, particularly at smaller regional airports.
“Why should I care? Denver is the airport we use when we fly, not the Eagle Airport, so we don’t need to financially support the Eagle Airport.”
The fact is, more than one third of our visitors arrive via Eagle County Airport and these guests are more likely to be repeat visitors with the potential to become second homeowners, thus benefiting the Eagle County economy. I-70 traffic to and from Denver is increasingly a guest service issue and convenience is of utmost importance to our visitors and second home owners. 47% of jobs in Eagle County are directly related to tourism and hospitality.
“The Eagle Airport can pay for service or reduce their costs to make it financially possible for the airlines to bring new service.”
Any and all revenues generated by the Eagle Airport must be re-invested back into the Airport in such a way that benefits all airlines equally, such as infrastructure upgrades, but not providing concessions to any one airline by providing a subsidy for service.
“A tax is not needed for minimum revenue guarantees to fund new air service, private enterprise should fund this.”
The current funding structure for Eagle Airport is both unreliable and insufficient because it relies upon annual “variable” public and private funds, making it very difficult to capitalize on all the potential opportunities for Eagle Airport.