Airport manager addresses concerns

— In light of recent complaints, a Yampa Valley Regional Airport official is asking travelers for their patience.

Airport officials have received complaints about the new parking gate and the inconvenience of the pick-up and drop-off site.

"I apologize," said Ann Cope--land, the airport's manager of terminal landside operations. "It's frustrating for everyone, and we hope everyone will bear with us."

Airline travelers have told officials that the new parking gate's arm does not go up when they attempt to exit the parking lot.

Copeland said she is working closely with the company in charge to solve the problem. Copeland said it is difficult to determine exactly what is going wrong with the gate.

"One day a part works, and one day it doesn't work," she said. "We can't figure out the common denominator of why parts aren't working."

Drivers who have problems with the gate should go inside and speak to an airline representative, who will direct them to someone who can deal with the parking issue. In an effort to avoid making people do this, Copeland said, officials have been trying to keep the gate open between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. so people are not stuck in the parking lot overnight. Also, she said, Hayden police officers have been helping monitor the gate.

The other main complaint airport officials have heard is that the pick-up and drop-off site is too far from the terminal.

"The bottom line is, everyone has to remember that we are right in the middle of construction," Copeland said.

Last summer, Routt County began a $13.6 million airport project, which includes paving and expanding the parking lot, as well as extending the terminal to the northwest.

"Once that new addition is extended out, it will be closer than it has ever been," Copeland said of the pick-up area.

Copeland said she hopes people can cooperate during the transition.

"We know there are some issues," she said. "We are trying to address them, and we appreciate everyone's patience."

--o reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229

or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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