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Frontier nixes Colorado Springs maintenance plans

A new heavy maintenance facility will not be built on the west side of Colorado Springs Airport.

Frontier Airlines decided against constructing a heavy maintenance facility in Colorado Springs as the low-cost carrier attempts to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Capacity cuts and fleet reductions eliminated the need for the facility, Frontier spokesman Steve Snyder says, noting the airline has been reviewing all projects as part of the bankruptcy process.

Instead of building its own facility, Frontier will continue to lease part of Continental Airlines’ hangar in Denver for heavy maintenance work.

Construction on the 100,000-square-foot hangar (30,480 square meters) had not started. The facility had been slated to open in or after April 2009.

The airline selected Colorado Springs because of the financial package offered by the airport and the ease of flying between Denver and Colorado Springs, roughly 100 miles (160 km) south, Snyder said when plans for the facility were first announced.

Incentives offered to Frontier and other airlines include a 100% rebate of personal business property taxes related to hangar construction materials, Colorado Springs airport director of aviation Mark Earle says.

The airline also received a combination of rebates and exemptions that equate to a 100% abatement of sales and use taxes for activity in the hangar for the life of the project, he says. Aircraft, aircraft parts, equipment solvents, materials, “anything used in the maintenance process” is included.

"Airport staff will continue to market the airport in an effort to attract successful airline maintenance projects such as the SkyWest maintenance facility which has been in operation since July 2007,” Earle says in a statement.