Gov. Hickenlooper Signs Airport Authority Bill at Durango-La Plata County Airport

Gov. Hickenlooper Signs Airport Authority Bill at Durango-La Plata County Airport
Posted on 05/18/2016

Gov. John Hickenlooper arrived at the Durango-La Plata County Airport on May 16 to sign Senate Bill 16-168 into law, along with County Commissioners Brad Blake, Julie Westendorff and Gwen Lachelt, Durango city councilors, Sen. Ellen Roberts, Rep. J Paul Brown and members of the Durango-La Plata County Airport Commission.

The bill enables counties and municipalities to enter into authorities, including airport agreements, with jurisdictions in other states - a practice previously not allowed under Colorado law. New Mexico statute already allows jurisdictions to partner across state lines.

The City of Durango and La Plata County own the Durango-La Plata County Airport the fifth-busiest airport in Colorado, with nearly 400,000 travelers flying in or out each year.  percentage of these travelers come from New Mexico – primarily the Farmington area, just across the state line.

“La Plata County requested this legislation to open the door for cooperation with our New Mexico neighbors for long-term sustainability of the Durango-La Plata County Airport,” said Commissioner Julie Westendorff.   “A common request we have heard from La Plata County residents is to make sure that users of the airport help pay for the airport.  This bill will allow us to collaborate with our neighbors in New Mexico for funding opportunities to address our shared needs for the good, reliable air service so critical to our local economies.”

“The Durango-La Plata County Airport is an integral part of the regional transportation system,” said Durango Mayor Christina Rinderle. “We are excited about the opportunity to work together to expand economic growth and development.”

Sen. Ellen Roberts and Rep. J. Paul Brown carried this legislation. The Senate passed the measure unanimously on April 1. The Colorado House of Representatives approved SB 168 63-1. 

For more information, contact La Plata County Administration at (970) 382-6210.