Airports show difference between Denver and Utah

  • Graph of costs of flying out of Western airports

    Diane Sylvain
 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, The West sings the Denver airport blues.

It'll be far more expensive for airlines to operate at Denver's new airport than at other airports in the West - which puts the Denver hub at a new disadvantage. To recoup the higher charges, airlines are likely to raise fares on any flight that touches Denver.

Like apples to oranges, comparing one airport to another is tricky, because airports use different bookkeeping methods - certain fuel charges may be figured separately, for instance. But Denver's mega-airport is like a one-ton orange; the disparity goes beyond bookkeeping.

Airlines using Denver International Airport this year will be charged at least $18.50 per passenger (a steep hike from the $6.50 they're paying at Denver's old airport, Stapleton).

At Las Vegas' glitzy airport the charge is about $6 per passenger. Airports at Colorado Springs, Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth - the latter a national hub that competes with Denver for the long-haul connecting flyer - range from $5.85 to $4.

Salt Lake International will be a real bargain, charging airlines about $3 per passenger. Sam Saeva, finance director at Salt Lake's airport, says matter-of-factly, "It's very cheap to operate here."

The philosphical difference between the two cities, Denver and Salt Lake, shows in the airports. Both have faced record growth in traffic (Denver eight years ago, Salt Lake today); Denver exercised its mega-ambition, while Salt Lake exercised Mormon-style frugality and merely expanded its old airport with another runway.

"Utah is noted for being a fiscally conservative state," says Buzz Hunt, marketing director at the Salt Lake airport. "The predominant view is that we do things incrementally, in the most cost-effective way." Saeva agrees, "We don't waste anything. The staff talks about it, in the manner of, we don't tear up that piece of concrete if we can fix it one more time."

High Country News Classifieds
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    HawkWatch International seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our awesome team! This position will provide support in all aspects of the department. We are looking...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING IN TAOS, NEW MEXICO www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    will develop and execute Wild Utah Projects fundraising plan. Call, email or check full description of job online for more details:
  • HAND CRAFTED LOG HOME IN TETON VALLEY
    on ten acres. Full view of the Grand Teton. 35 miles to Yellowstone and 20 minutes to Grand Targhee Ski Area.
  • ACREAGE WITH HOME, SHOP, BARN FOR SALE!
    Must see for sng/extd fam or corp retreat in pines! $1,030,000
  • WESTERN REGIONAL MANAGER
    The American Forest Foundation seeks a smart and highly motivated candidate to join our Western conservation team. The Regional Manager supports the Regional Director to...
  • TRANSPORTATION PLANNER
    Exciting opportunity to lead the charge on meeting the future transportation demands of our community! This position will develop, coordinate, and implement the Integrated Transportation...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING INSTITUTE (EWI)
    with Robert Michael Pyle September 26-30, 2018, in Missoula MT.
  • REPORTING FELLOW - BOISE, ID
    Boise State Public Radio is hiring a Reporting Fellow as part of a new nationwide collaborative, Guns & America. Based in the state capitol, Boise...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Middle Colorado Watershed Council. Rifle, CO.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF RIVERSEDGE WEST (FORMERLY TAMARISK COALITION)
    RiversEdge West is seeking an entrepreneurial leader with solid nonprofit management skills to lead our high functioning team and help us make an impact on...
  • HIRING BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER DIRECTOR
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring an Education Center Director to oversee the operation of the Bears Ears Education Center....
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR WITH WRA
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a talented, organized person with great people skills, who is passionate about protection of the natural environment to work...
  • DIRECTOR OF REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
    The Wilderness Society is recruiting for an experienced Communicator for our Northwest Region. This position is located in Seattle, WA. For more information please visit...
  • SALMON RIVER IDAHO WILDERNESS RETREAT HOME
    Here is an opportunity to have a piece of self-sufficient paradise on Idaho's Main Salmon River adjacent to the largest Forest Service wilderness area in...
  • RAMMED EARTH SOLAR COTTAGE
    in 5-home conservation community & botanical sanctuary on 20 acres.
  • MEMBERSHIP AND ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR
    The Montana Wildlife Federation is looking for an enthusiastic and innovative Membership and Engagement Coordinator to help grow and maintain our grassroots voice for wildife,...
  • SR ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNER
    The City of Fort Collins is excited to announce a Sr Environmental Planner position within the Natural Areas Department. This position will be housed within...
  • HISTORICAL VACATION CABIN
    on beautiful Snow Angel Ranch located within San Juan National Forest near Pagosa Springs, CO. Lakes, fly-fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, horse trails, horse accommodations...
  • FIVE-ACRE VIEW LOT WITH WELL
    5 acres, well. Abuts Carson NF; hike fish ski; deer turkey elk.