Thank you for highlighting the excellent job done by Aspen air traffic controllers in Oct. 30’s paper. The complexity of the situations they faced, and actually face every day, may be difficult for those outside aviation to understand. The controllers' work, no exaggeration, keeps the economic engine running for Aspen.
Hall of Famer, Betty Pfister, knew the Aspen airport needed a tower with air traffic controllers. The FAA denied the request for a tower. Betty went to Washington and after her extensive work, the tower was approved. County Commissioner Tom Sardy spearheaded the purchase of the airport. It was Betty Pfister who made the airport the economic engine it is today by getting the tower approved.
On a personal note to reinforce how critical controllers are — the airport where we have a private hangar is in Rifle (no hangars available in Aspen). It does not have a tower or air traffic controllers. Even with all my flying credentials and years of experience flying into many of Colorado's airports — including many landings at Aspen, when it came time to 'move' to Snowmass for the summer and fly into Rifle, I left the airplane in Texas and drove exactly because of the complexity of what the controllers had to manage during the Lake Christine and other fires this summer.
Thank you again for sharing the news about the extremely well-deserved award for the controllers.

Patricia Jayne (Pat) Keefer
President, Capitol Peak HOA Board
Gold Medalist, Round the World Air Race
Snowmass and Texas