Exploring the wild blue out there in her bright yellow Rans S-6 single-helix aircraft is more than a passion for Meredith Fox, manager of Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport, it is a tribute to her father’s memory.
âMy dad was a pilot and I grew up around the hangar in Ann Arbor, Michigan,â Fox said, adding with a chuckle, âMy dad was like the Fonz. He did things that were cool before. that they are.
Owner of a tent and awning business, Fox’s father liked to take him to take aerial photos of the tents to promote the family business. Although she spent her youth tinkering with planes and chatting with seasoned pilots, Fox didn’t start flying until after her father died in 2017.
âAfter his death from Alzheimer’s disease, I decided to honor him by training for my pilot’s license,â Fox said.
While chatting with friends about the flight, Fox said she decided to head to Boulder on a “discovery flight”.
âA discovery flight is when a pilot takes you in and lets you see if you like it or not – to see if you can hang on,â Fox said.
Living in Summit County at the time, she began her flight training in Boulder, before purchasing her Rans-6 and heading to Fairfield, Utah, to take flight lessons at the West Desert. Airpark.
âYou think this runway is short,â she asked, explaining that the runway at Glenwood Airport – 3,305 feet long by 50 feet wide – only accommodates small planes. âWest Desert was even shorter. This track was 2,400 feet long by 24 feet wide. “
Potential for greatness
Fox moved to Summit County just days before September 11, 2001, and soon after, she fell in love with the area.
âI moved here for ‘one ski season’,â she said. “And, I’ve been here ever since.”
The airport manager is a part-time position, so Fox works in her spare time as technical director of the Breckenridge Film Festival, media director of the BendFilm Festival and as a radio personality at C-Rock 103.3, based in Summit County.
Prior to accepting the position of Glenwood Airport Manager, Fox worked at the Telluride Regional Airport.
âI worked in customer service relations at Telluride,â she said. “My duties ranged from working with the pilots on landing fees, getting their restoration, calling fuel orders and I was their Universal Communications Operator (UNICOM).”
As defined by the Federal Aviation Administration, UNICOM is a non-government air-ground radio station, which can provide airport information at airports for public use without a traffic control tower or flight service station.
Hired in August, Fox said she was still learning the ropes at Glenwood Airport, but there was a lot to look forward to.
âI don’t think I’ve ever worked with such an amazing team of people,â she said. “And Glenwood has a lot of potential to be a great airport.”
To strengthen airport services, Fox is working on an airport master plan, a guiding document for future airport developments.
While the master plan is still in its infancy, she said a few projects she would like to incorporate are a weather station, a transitional hangar for pilots based elsewhere to park their planes in Glenwood for short periods of time and a new jet fuel tank with increased capacity.
More fuel capacity could mean more revenue in the airport’s pocket, but Fox said it would also help relationships with companies like Classic Air Medical, which flies helicopters out of Glenwood Airport 24 hours. 24/7.
Fox is responsible for making sure these helicopters and the many customers at the local airport have the fuel they need every time they take to the skies, but that’s only part of his job description.
âI’m a one-woman show,â Fox said. âI mow the lawn, take out the trash, clear the animals off the track and pretty much whatever needs to be done here. “
So far, the September 4 Airport Expo has been one of the highlights of the work, she said.
âIt took a long time to put on an exhibit right after I was hired,â Fox said. âBut it was so worth it. Everyone was smiling from ear to ear. I called some friends, and they came over and did an impromptu air show that was a real success.
Hitting the nail on the head, Fox said she hopes to attract more pilots to the airport through increased marketing efforts and hosting more events.
âThe more pilots we can get and the more fuel we can buy, the more income we will have to fund big projects,â she said.
Journalist Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at [email protected]