To: (Separate email addresses with commas)
From: (Your email address)
Message: (Optional)



9 Facts About Aspen/Pitkin County Airport

High altitude and high terrain make Aspen one of the most challenging airports in the US. Check out these 9 facts about KASE.

1) Aspen/Pitkin County Airport has a field elevation 7,837 feet, making it the highest commercial airport in the US. The distinction was previously held by Telluride, CO at 9,078 feet, until commercial airline service ended in 2014.

2) At that elevation, 25% of the earth's atmosphere is below you, which significantly decreases aircraft performance.


3) Maroon Bells peak, which is 14,156 feet high, is within a 10-mile radius of the airport. This makes Maroon Bells over a mile higher (6,319 feet) than the airport.

Sean Molin

4) Due to the close proximity of the taxiway to the runway, the maximum aircraft wingspan allowed in KASE is 95 feet.

Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Jounalism

5) Due to challenging terrain surrounding the airport, the LOC DME Rwy 15 approach brings planes down to 1,043 feet above the touchdown zone, which is significantly higher than instrument approaches at most airports.


6) There have been 7 major accidents at the airport. The most recent happened in January 2014, when a Challenger jet attempted to land with a strong tailwind.

Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Jounalism

7) The maximum certificated gross landing weight of aircraft allowed to land at KASE is 100,000 pounds.


8) The airport has a curfew - no aircraft operations are allowed between 11pm and 7am.

9) Because the runway is so close to the mountains, Aspen is a one-way-in, one-way-out airport. All approaches are to runway 15, and all departures are from runway 33, regardless of the wind (and this is the departure view).


Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

Images Courtesy:

Recommended Stories

Latest Stories

    Load More
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email