Business View Magazine | Volume 8, Issue 9

229 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 8, ISSUE 9 SAN LUI S VALLEY REGIONAL A I RPORT infrastructure work leading up to these service changes. Taxiway Alpha was recently completed, creating a parallel taxiway along the entire 8521-foot length of the runway. It is 50 feet wide and can accommodate a large variety of aircraft. This was a $7 million project funded by a supplemental appropriations discretionary grant and included new LED taxiway lighting as well as runway signs. They have also constructed a complete perimeter security fence; eight miles of fencing protecting over 1700 acres of land, which helps limit the incursion of animals such as deer and elk, both of which have been a problem in the past. In addition, the fence creates a safety zone for humans around the airport. San Luis Valley Regional is also in the process of replacing its ageing fuel farm. Construction will be completed soon and will provide the airport with a 12,000-gallon Jet A fuel tank, as well as a 12,000-gallon AvGas tank. This is a significant improvement over their previous capacity and is helps make us one of the top agricultural spots for the country – particularly when it comes to potatoes and hops. We grow all the hops for Coors Brewing here. Hemp is becoming a huge crop as well. But from an airport point of view, our largest client is tourism.” In November of 2020, after a bidding competition, SkyWest Air, doing business through United, started flying daily service to Denver. By attracting a major carrier, San Luis Valley became reclassified as a Class 1 Commercial Air Airport, also known as a Primary Commercial Service Airport. “This was a big deal for us,” says Hickman, “We also became Part 139 certified through the FAA and now we have larger, 50-seater, regional jet service. SkyWest flies to Denver International twelve times a week and from there you can connect to any other location in the country.” Despite the trials and tribulations of the pandemic, the airport has seen a lot of