Crowds attend Centennial Airport open house

Posted 4/30/10

Ray Arkland brought his sons to the April 28 open house at Centennial Airport because because they like airplanes. “I have always loved airplanes …

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Crowds attend Centennial Airport open house


Ray Arkland brought his sons to the April 28 open house at Centennial Airport because because they like airplanes.

“I have always loved airplanes and you don’t get a lot of chances to get up, touch and even get onto some of them like that corporate jet there,” the Englewood man said. “I doubt we’ll every get to fly on one, but now the boys and I can say we checked out the inside of one and even got to sit in the seats. It’s way cool. We also got to get up close to a World War II fighter. The boys really liked that.”

Arkland and the boys were just there to look at the planes, but business-related reasons brought a majority of the hundreds who attended the first event sponsored by the Colorado Aviation Business Association.

Jason Tannenbaum, in Denver on business from Chicago, said he came to look at the couple of new aircraft on display to see if the company he worked for might be wise to trade up at this time, while Highlands Ranch residents Carl and Claudia Simpson said they came to the event to gather information about flight schools.

“Our son has his heart set on learning to fly and we know nothing about that subject,” Carl said. “There are quite a few schools here so we are gathering information to take home and look over before we decide which ones we want to visit because, if we can, we are going to let our son get his private pilot’s license.”

The association held the event to showcase business aviation as well as the contributions Centennial Airport and the aviation-related businesses and activities make to the local and metro-area economy.

“There are a lot of different operations out of this airport,” said David Purvis, association member. “There are scores of privately owned small aircraft flying in and out of the airport all the time as well as business-related flights for corporations and medical transport services. The activities mean jobs and related economic impact on the surrounding areas.”

The busy flying schedule is supported by companies maintaining the planes, filling the fuel tanks and performing other services. A 2008 survey indicated there are more than 10,000 people employed at Centennial Airport.

There is a hotel adjacent to the airport, rental car services on the field and three restaurants located on or nearby. Parker resident Lloyd Petrovich said he drives to the airport regularly to eat at the Perfect Landing restaurant so he and his wife can watch the planes take off and land.

“The food is good and we really enjoy watching the planes,” he said. “It is a great way to spend lunch time or even come out for an early dinner so there is still daylight to watch the planes. We try to get here at least a couple times a month.”

To showcase the airport and its services, the day-long event featured a number of displays inside a hanger and a lineup of different types of aircraft parked outside.

“The state association is located at Centennial and used to be the Centennial Aviation Business Association so this was a natural location for our first open house,” Purvis said. “We are very pleased so many people came out today and we are thinking about putting on similar events at some of the 60 other general aviation airports in the state.”


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