Congressman Lamborn Announces Permanent Airtanker Base in Colorado Springs

January 24, 2020
Press Release

Colorado Springs, CO- Today, the U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the City of Colorado Springs, notified Congressman Lamborn of its plan to build a permanent airtanker base, including a new ramp, at the Colorado Springs Airport. Funding for the project was awarded to the U.S. Forest Service by Congress as part of the 2018 Omnibus Bill.

Congressman Lamborn issued the following statement:

"I am pleased to have been a part of the collaborative effort between the Colorado Springs Airport, the City of Colorado Springs, and the U.S. Forest Service to bring one of the nation’s largest, most state-of-the-art Airtanker Base units to the Colorado Springs Airport. The Colorado Springs Airtanker Base will significantly enhance the U.S. Forest Service's capabilities to combat wildfires with increased capacity and efficiency. The strategic location of the airtanker base will undoubtedly prove to be a center of excellence for the aerial firefighting mission and an asset not only to the state of Colorado but to the entire region. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the effort to base this vital resource in Colorado Springs."

The groundbreaking ceremony for the project will take place in spring, 2020 and the estimated budget is approximately $20 million. After completion, the base will be the largest in the region, spanning across one and a half acres, and will (initially) include six reload pits that will be able to service any type/size of aircraft. The planned layout permits multiple airtankers to reload at once, allowing for an increased amount of retardant to be deployed to a wildfire. This capability will result in greater efficiency and support to firefighters on the ground and increased protection to the affected communities. The new ramp will cover approximately eight acres, will be adjacent to the U.S. Army operated ramp, and be located near the airport's existing main runway.

The Colorado Springs Airtanker Base will support aerial firefighting efforts in the Rocky Mountain Region, which includes Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska. The project is scheduled for completion in 2021.

Contact: Cassandra Sebastian (719) 520-0055