Cortez Fly-In Features Aviation Services and Flight Schools – The Durango Herald

Denver Air Connection’s biprop Metroliner will be the new commercial airline serving Cortez Municipal Airport. It will be presented at the Four Corners Fall Fly-In on Saturday at the airport. (Courtesy picture)

Doors open on September 17 at the municipal airport for plane and helicopter tours

The public is invited to celebrate local aviation at the second annual Four Corners Fall Fly-In Saturday at Cortez Municipal Airport.

The 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. event includes sightseeing flights, aviation information, aircraft displays, a civilian air patrol, and a vintage car show.

Cortez’s new carrier, Denver Air Connection, will showcase its twin-turboprop Metro line, which will begin service Oct. 1. Tours of the interior of the aircraft will be offered. The airline will have draws for free return tickets.

The event also includes food trucks, flying education stands and local emergency responders showing off vehicles and equipment. Members of the Over the Hill Car Club will showcase classic and muscle cars. Chrome Mafia motorcycles will also be on display.

Flight enthusiasts Garth Greenlee and Gerald Vincent will meet the public and share Cortez’s aviation history.

Airport manager Jeremy Patton said the aim of the event was to raise awareness of local aviation services and inspire the next generation of aviation professionals.

The Four Corners Fly-In takes place Saturday at Cortez Municipal Airport. (log file)

Pilots from around the world will fly into Cortez Municipal Airport on Saturday as part of an air event. (log file)

“There are a lot of great jobs in this industry that pay well and are fun, challenging and adventurous,” he said. “Cortez is a great place to get started in an aviation career and connect with mentors. The Fall Fly-In is where people can learn about all the opportunities we have in our community.

Representatives from Cortez Flying Service will be available to talk about their flight school and aviation services.

Southwest Memorial Hospital’s Classic Air Medical Helicopter will be on display and visitors will be able to chat with the crew.

Colorado Highland Helicopters, of Durango, will offer helicopter sightseeing flights for a fee. A Farmington flight school will also have a booth and the Experimental Aircraft Association will have exhibits.

The Four Corners Fall Fly-In will also feature a car show. (log file)

Of course, the fly-ins feature local pilots flying into the airport for the occasion. Visitors will see a variety of private planes coming and going, Patton said.

“It’s a giant aviation open day,” he said. “There is a lot of enthusiasm for this from the drivers and the general public. This has generated a lot of interest in schools.

Organizers expect a bigger turnout this year. Last year there were 300 to 400 participants.

Patton said he has received FAA approval for military overflights for the event, and it’s unclear if those planes will arrive.

Airport improvements

When Denver Air Connection begins service to Cortez in October, it will offer two daily round trips to Denver International Airport and two daily round trips to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. It will replace Boutique Air.

Cortez Municipal Airport is licensed for commercial transportation service for up to nine passengers per flight. The new airline has a capacity of 30 passengers, but has been rearranged to carry nine for the Cortez route.

Patton said the airport is being upgraded to meet FAA qualifications for commercial airline service for up to 30 passengers. The goal is to qualify by next year.

At this point, Denver Air Connection is ready to provide commercial transportation service with twin-engine jets with a capacity of 30 people, he said. Patton noted that the new Airline has more cargo capacity than Boutique, with more room for skis, snowboards, bikes and golf clubs.

Cortez Municipal Airport has seen increased operations due to the temporary closure of runways at the La Plata County airport, Patton said.

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