Colorado Springs Is Serious About Getting Local Flyers to Fly Local

Facing a massive decline in Colorado Springs Airport passengers, the city’s mayor and other officials want to figure out how to take a bite out of the business their residents are giving to DIA.
May 2013

Colorado Springs is coming for you, Denver International Airport.

Facing what’s expected to be a 20-year low in passengers at Colorado Springs Airport, city leaders are making a push to have locals fly, well, locally. What’s so far amounted only to talk about marketing plans and free newspapers and coffee (really), Colorado Springs officials say they’re serious about getting Springs folks to hop aboard planes in their city—rather than watching residents trek the hour-and-a-half to Denver International Airport and take their cash with them.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports the number of people flying out of the Springs has declined each year in the past decade. More than 1 million passengers flew out of Colorado Springs in 2002, the newspaper says, but projections show fewer than 700,000 people will do so this year.

Part of that is due to ticket prices and to limited choices among carriers and routes. To remedy that, officials plan to hire a marketing consultant and have already created a task force to devise strategies that will help the airport. "The first [strategy] is attract more flights—ideally, more airlines with more flights in and out of the airport," Colorado Springs mayor Steve Bach told the Gazette. "We are talking with existing carriers as well as others about that." The mayor added: "We need more people to use the airport and that will then result in more flights."

Officials are hyping the negligible cost savings between flying out of DIA and flying out of the Springs. On average, a ticket out of Colorado Springs is $26 more than out of Denver. Add in E-470 tolls to and from DIA—plus gas—and the cost difference becomes even smaller.

So how many folks from down south are using Denver International Airport? The Gazette reports that an estimated 45 percent of Colorado Springs flyers go to DIA and 53 percent of Pueblo flyers travel to DIA to begin their trips.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock