Eagle County Regional Airport is located south of Interstate 70 just off Highway 6 between the towns of Eagle and Gypsum, Colorado. The original runway was built in the 1930s under the direction of the Civil Aeronautics Authority as an emergency landing strip for a Denver to Los Angeles air route.
The airport was dedicated on Sept. 14, 1947 and provided general aviation services for many years. In 1989, there were 277 commercial passengers.
In 1996, a $9 million, 36,000 sq. ft. passenger terminal was unveiled, accommodating a 73 percent increase in passengers during that season. The demands on the new terminal prompted an additional 30,000 sq. ft. expansion in 2001, to accommodate the growing popularity of commercial air service to EGE.
On November 19, 2003, a $2.2 million air traffic control tower opened, giving controllers increased visibility. The new 115-foot-tall tower, which replaced the 43-foot tower, can accommodate four controllers.
In 2006, an Instrument Landing System (ILS) was commissioned and in 2007, a BI-6 radar system was added. These improvements allow aircraft to land in lower visibility conditions and increase the rate at which EGE can accept arriving aircraft in low visibility.
The airport is served by three major airlines: American, Delta, and United, with non-stop winter service to 10 major cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York (JFK), and Newark, and non-stop summer service to Denver, Dallas, and Houston.
Since 1994, annual airport operations have increased 183 percent and annual passenger enplanements have more than doubled. Comparing peak day passenger traffic makes Eagle County Regional Airport the second busiest airport in Colorado.
In 2008, a study commissioned by the Colorado Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division found that the total quantifiable impact on the local economy from the airport in that year totaled $982,170,400. In addition, the Eagle County Regional Airport created 10,467 jobs, paying $293,886,700 in wages.
Other projects at the Eagle County Regional Airport include
- Completion of a 1,000 foot runway expansion
- Rehabilitation of the existing runway
- Expansion of the TSA Security Checkpoint from 2 to 4 lanes
- Addition of an In-Line Baggage Screening System freeing up space in the terminal for passengers
- Opening of Alpenglo Express, which provides pre-security retail and concession services