Four incoming state House Republicans have asked the Democratic chairwoman of the transportation committee for a hearing to review recent blizzard-related problems at Denver International Airport.
Problems at DIA, which closed for 45 hours just before the Christmas holiday, need to be addressed before Colorado's snowiest months hit, the lawmakers said.
Rep.-elect Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, cited a Rocky Mountain News story that examined four other airports in the wake of similar snow events, finding that the longest closure - at the Buffalo, N.Y., airport - was 12 1/2 hours.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport closed for about three hours; the Salt Lake City airport closed for 7 1/2 hours and JFK Airport in New York City closed for from four to eight hours.
"It is imperative that the hearing is not an occasion for finger-pointing, but rather an opportunity for a constructive dialogue between legislative leaders and city officials," the four Republicans wrote in a letter to Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West.
McFadyen, director of the House Transportation and Energy Committee, said Wednesday that she welcomes a hearing, and has asked the Republicans who they would want to attend.
"We should care about DIA," she said.
"It's our biggest airport, and if they need our help, we need to know."
The Republicans noted in their letter that the state has a "vested interest" in making sure that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and his administration have investigated the closure and that they have a plan to prevent future lengthy closures.
Sue Cobb, the mayor's spokeswoman, said they hadn't seen the letter.
Back-to-back blizzards hit Colorado just before the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Thousands of Christmas travelers, in particular, were affected.
The four Republicans who wrote the letter have been assigned to serve on the transportation committee when they take office next week. They are McNulty; Don Marostica, of Loveland; Spencer Swalm, of Centennial; and Jerry Sonnenberg, of Sterling.
Other airport closings
Here's a sampling of how long (in hours) other airports have been closed after snow events similar to the one that shut down DIA for 45 hours:
12.5 Buffalo Niagara International Airport
3 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
7.5 Salt Lake City International Airport
4-8 John F. Kennedy International Airport
News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.
Republicans said Democrats blocked them from inviting the mayor and snow-removal experts from other major airports.
To avoid another disaster like the shutdown last December, airport officials have boosted staffing, gear ? and spending DIA's ground attack
Bring it on. That seems to be the attitude of Denver International Airport officials about their ability to deal with a major snowstorm this winter. After being overwhelmed by the...
AVERTING SHUTDOWNS DIA on a mission to beat blizzards Officials want $31 million for multifunction machines that clear runways faster and melters to keep snow from piling up.
Denver International Airport is proposing to spend $31 million on high-speed, "multifunction" snow-removal machines to give the airport a better chance of staying open during blizzards...
DIA set to boost pay Top boss' salary is much higher at other major U.S. airports HIRING NEW CHIEF Denver's mayor says he's ready to pay what it takes to lure a top-caliber leader rich in skills and v
Mayor John Hickenlooper is prepared to boost the salary of Denver International Airport's chief by 60 percent - or even more - to get a visionary leader for the nation's fifth-largest airport...