Airport celebrates 50 years

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For years, fly-ins have been a small-airport tradition. Pilots get together to share stories and show off their planes.

Since the early 1990s, Steamboat Springs Airport has hosted a fly-in that attracts planes from across Colorado. These days, the tradition continues, but airport officials want it to be a communitywide event as well as a time for comradery among pilots, airport manager Mel Baker said.

¤ Wild West Air Fest to celebrate 50th anniversary of Steamboat Springs Airport ¤ 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday ¤ Steamboat Springs Airport off Routt County Road 129 ¤ $5 for adults; $2 for children ages 5 to 16; free for children 4 and younger

This year, the event is called the Wild West Air Fest, and it will combine a celebration of the airfield's 50th anniversary with other Steamboat Springs Labor Day events as a way to encourage more people to come to the airport.

As many as 20 planes are expected to land at Steamboat Springs Airport this weekend, including vintage aircraft and the latest examples of aviation technology.

Baker expects two World War II warbirds -- the AT-6 and a Spitfire torpedo bomber.

For modern aviation enthusiasts, Adam Aviation from Centennial Airport will fly in the A700, the newest in light business jets.

If the weather cooperates, visitors will get a chance to take flights around the Yampa Valley in a helicopter, a vintage bi-plane or the AT-6. Rides will cost $40 to $100 or more, depending on the distance flown.

Twice Saturday and again Sunday, the runway will be cleared for a remote-controlled airplane demonstration. The demos are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days.

Vintage cars also will be on display. Vendors will sell food, and Colorado Northwestern Community College officials will be available to talk to students interested in aviation careers.

Parking at the airport is limited. Steamboat Springs Transit will provide free shuttles every 15 minutes from the Stock Bridge Transit Center and the TIC parking lot off Routt County Road 129. No dogs are allowed.

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