While in Colorado, we had a little time from our intended trip duties to visit the Denver area. I weasled my brother into taking us to a couple of the small airports located in the area. We headed to the northwest corner of Denver to visit the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jefferson County between Dever and Boulder. It was formerly known as Jeffco Airport; the name was changed in 2006.
It's a pretty cool airport to visit. Actually, I had been there previously (another weasel trip with my brother). As we drove into the entrance, we headed to the general parking. Straight ahead, the apron and runways and to our left a building that housed the local FBO, Denver Air Center. Located on the upper level is the Runway Grill. It's a great place to eat and it has a deck overlooking he apron and runways. You can sit, enjoy a meal and watch the activities on the airport.
I was struck by the amount of activity. We enjoyed watching airplanes taking off, taxiing, landing and performing touch and goes. A Robinson R-44 helicopter was performing maneuvers on the far runway.
Below, in the parking lot, I noticed a big black SUV and driver, dressed in suit pants and white shirt with a neatly groomed ponytail. He was wiping it with a cloth ever so carefully. I thought it rather odd until a jet landed and proceeded to taxi to the apron to park. The driver hustled to get his suit jacket on and ready to drive to the airplane to greet the passengers. The flight had originated from Santa Monica.
Often the non-flying public has a hard time recognizing the airport as a vital and valuable asset. Some neighborhoods fight to close an airport; some fight to keep them open because they see the economic benefits of having a genera aviation airport.
By comparison to airports back in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Rocky Mountain was bustling with activity. My observation: the bleak economy hasn’t affected this area based on the numerous airplanes coming and going during our hour visit.
During the hub bub of activity, I noticed a DC-3 parked on the north ramp. We headed over to check it out.
This airport is very visitor friendly. Parents bring their children to airports to get them interested in aviation. It’s a fascinating hobby and many pilots have gone on to a career in aviation because of their exposure to flight. I applaude small airports for their accessability for both adults and children.
We left the airport, satisfied from the aviation interaction - eye candy to a pilot. :)