03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Telluride: "Come Visit. Our Runway Now Meets FAA Standards"

Telluride Regional Airport will celebrate a grand re-opening on December 17th with Neil Armstrong as the guest of honor. After $22 million and nine months, officials are proud to have improved the grade of the runway, and in doing so removed a 16-foot dip that once dominated the middle of the strip.

In an interview with the Telluride Daily Planet, Chip Taft, a pilot with Mountain Aviation who flies into Telluride regularly, said of the old runway, "It was sporty... the wheels would leave the ground on takeoff, and the runway would try to come up and meet us."

The airport is North America's highest commercial airport, and at 9,070 feet above sea level, a safe--and now longer--runway is important. In a press release, officials emphasized their pride that in addition to "a much smoother landing, the runway now meets FAA standards." (emphasis added)

That's one small step for Telluride, one giant step for ... jet-setters everywhere.