Find a different kind of gold in Leadville

An opportunity to see the colors of fall from a different perspective is coming up during the Leadville-Lake County Regional Airport 10th Annual Fall Colors Breakfast Fly-In Saturday, Sept. 22. Breakfast will be served from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. Just $6 gets you scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns and a pancake.

The mornings can be cool this time of year, but the new buildings are heated and comfortable, and the breakfast event is a great opportunity for pilots from all over to fly in and see the fall colors of the high country. Officially, visitors can drive or fly, but many more arrive from the sky than by road.

“It’s a whole different view from the air,” says Brad Palmer, director of Lake County Road and Bridge Dept. This special event is a chance for people who don’t know the airport to come up and see it. Palmer continues, “They love coming in and getting their certificate. Pilots making a successful landing at the airport may request a free commemorative certificate of the occasion.”

Attendance for the event is usually good, but there have been a few years when other airports had competing events. “This year the Rifle airport is having a lunch,” Palmer explains. “So people can start their day here and continue their trip to see more of the fall scenery.” He says it’s fun to get to know the pilots who visit frequently because they just love to fly.

The 605 acres of the Leadville-Lake County Airport (LXV) constitute the highest public-use airport in North America and the third highest in the world. The airport links surrounding high country communities to the National Air Transportation System and at one time actually received scheduled airline service.

Fixed-base operations are open seven days a week, and self-service fuel is available 24 hours a day. Newly built, modern facilities include a 6,400-foot runway, a helipad, heated hangar space and ramp tie down spots for rent.

Sitting at 9,934 feet, the airport has become an ideal location for high altitude aircraft testing and mountain flight training by both aerospace companies and military organizations. The nearly $7.5 million in improvements since the county took over operations have also included updating the website to be sure organizations looking for places for testing and training can learn about the opportunities here.

The airport can accommodate many different kinds of aircraft, including helicopters and all sorts of planes. The number of flights to the airport varies seasonally, with 15-20 per week in the summer and five to 10 per month in the winter. The airport receives many compliments on the quality of snow removal at the facility, especially in light of its elevation and snowfall.

The Leadville-Lake County Airport is located at 915 CR 23, just two miles southwest of Leadville. For more information on airport services, including rates, charges and links to documents, visit their website at klxvairport.com.