This March’s big news on the Colorado Springs Airport (COS) centered around one main topic—the seven new Frontier Airlines flights soon to be offered from the airport to high-profile destinations such as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. And these new flights are just the beginning of the airport’s story of recent success. With roughly $29 million in private development slated for 2017, 50-80 new jobs and more than 130,000 square feet of hangar space to be added this year, the airport will be flying to unprecedented heights of success.
2016: A Year in Review
2016 was a banner year for the Colorado Springs Airport, which saw its largest passenger traffic growth in 20 years. Here’s a look at 2016’s success by the numbers:
- 10.6: percent increase in regularly scheduled passenger traffic
- $22.6 million: investment in airport improvement projects, now completed
- 656,000: total passenger traffic, an increase of 59,000 from 2015
2017: What’s to Come
Thanks in part to the new batch of Frontier flights that were just announced, COS is expecting a record-shattering 800,000 passengers to travel through the airport in 2017. Additionally, major global aviation companies are investing in and expanding at the airport, including the following:
- Global Supertanker, the owner of the nation’s largest firefighting plane (pictured right), is now headquartered at the Colorado Springs Airport and is gaining global recognition after performing major firefighting efforts in Israel and Chile.
- Cutter Aviation, an aviation services provider for the general aviation community, is building a new executive terminal and a new 60,000 sq. ft. hangar.
- Sierra Completions, a subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corp., recently announced they have received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) a Repair Station License at one of their Sierra Nevada Corporation facilities located at the Colorado Springs Airport. Having a licensed repair station on property improves the business climate for the Colorado Springs aviation community.
- Rampart Aviation has brought close to 20-25 jobs to the region and completed a new 20,000 sq. ft. hangar after their recent move to Colorado Springs from North Carolina.
Behind the Success
A key factor behind the airport’s development and construction boom is the implementation of the Commercial Aeronautical Zone (CAZ)—a measure in which most local sales and use taxes are refunded for businesses engaged in aeronautical activities within the CAZ. This measure gives a major advantage to aviation-related businesses in Colorado Springs.