Lamar Airport Operating as Regional Facility

Ribbon Cutting for New Designation (L-R: Lamar Public Works Director, Mayor Crespin, Eric McSwan, Councilman Manuel Tamez



Clear, blue skies and mild temperatures this past Saturday morning, June 19th, made a perfect moment to enjoy a free pancake breakfast, view various airplanes and watch the ribbon cutting for the dedication as the Lamar Municipal Airport is now officially recognized by the FAA as a regional facility.

There have been changes at the airport over the past year, as the City of Lamar has assumed operations as the Fixed Base Operator, while the former managers since 2017, Eric and Tanya McSwan have been hired by the city to continue to run the day-to-day operations.

A free pancake and sausage breakfast was offered between 7 and 10am and participants could register for free gifts on the hour on Saturday. A new, temporary sign was displayed announcing the municipal airport has transitioned to the Southeast Colorado Regional Airport. Lamar Mayor, Kirk Crespin, explained the new airport designation by the Federal Aviation Administration will be officially posted and recognized in future publication and maps which indicates to the aviation world, the Lamar airport is geared to a higher degree of services on a regional basis.

“We intend to offer fuel at last $0.25 lower per gallon than other airports,” Crespin explained, saying this would be a further attraction for fliers in the vicinity. A number of years ago, Lamar did offer scheduled commercial flight service to Denver, but a federal subsidy for those flights became unavailable which eventually ended the service due to a lack of additional flyers. There’s a chance some of that could change, as Crespin said the city will present a plan to include Lamar in a flight service that runs from Dodge City, KS into Denver.

“This airport can offer a great economic growth potential to the Lamar area, and the council is going to pursue those options,” Crespin said.

Chinese Built YAK at Lamar Airport

The airport manager, Eric McSwan said there are some future events which could appeal to the public in the coming months. “We have the return of the Red Star YAKS coming September 20th through the 25th and from September 30th to October 2nd, we’re hosting the AG Pass Program which involves a number of crop sprayer aircraft. The Rocky Mountain Acrobat competition will be held here just after that, from October 6th to the 11th and it’s not confirmed yet, but there is an opportunity for a Marine Military Training Operation to take place in November which could involve Osprey-type aircraft and helicopters. The exercise would be in conjunction with the military base at Pinon Canyon.”

By Russ Baldwin

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