Letters of support for a nonstop flight from Colorado Springs to Washington, D.C., are pouring into the Colorado Springs Airport.
The letters will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Transportation, who has the final say on incoming and outgoing flights into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, one of the few airports in the country with flights regulated by Congress.
This month, the Department of Transportation announced that slots had opened up for additional flights – and the bidding began.
Frontier Airlines, which has a hub in Denver and operates many flights out of Colorado Springs – including four recently announced nonstop flights to major cities in the West – made a bid for a nonstop flight from Washington, D.C., to Colorado Springs, and continuing service to San Diego.
Other airlines, including Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, are making a bid for the same slots.
It’s a decision the Colorado Springs community can sway, said Agnes Blachut, Colorado Springs Airport spokeswoman.
The moment the bid was announced, she started receiving letters of support.
“We’ve seen incredible results,” Blachut said. “We have an incredible amount of community support — there is a huge effort. People are randomly emailing me.”
The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, Pikes Peak Lodging Association and Southern Colorado Business Partnership launched a community letter-writing campaign to show support for the additional flight. The deadline to turn in the letters is close of business March 23 and letters should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Now, it’s up to the community to show as much support as it can, that yes we want this slot,” Blachut said. “You don’t get this opportunity very often.”
Typically, proposed flight plans are kept quiet until the airlines are ready to announce. But because the Washington National Airport slots are awarded through a competitive process, community leaders, businesses, governmental agencies and individual citizens can weigh in.
“The airport is putting together an official response that essentially states that COS supports Frontier’s application,” Blachut said. “We are gathering community support through the letter-writing campaign to supplement this official response, to prove that there is an actual community need and willingness to support this service.”