Some residents will be treated to an informal air show of sorts Thursday morning when 18 military helicopters are scheduled to fly through with a brief stop at the Durango-La Plata County Airport.
The military flyover, scheduled to occur between 9 a.m. and noon, will include Black Hawk, Apache and Chinook helicopters, said Tony Vicari, director of the airport.
Airport officials expect two waves with eight to 10 helicopters in each wave. They are expected to land at the airport to refuel, he said. The helicopters are based out of Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs.
“We see frequent military flight operations at DRO with both fixed wing and rotary aircraft,” Vicari said Tuesday in an email to the Herald. “Thursday’s activity will be at a slightly higher volume than we commonly experience but is otherwise very standard. There will be no public access to view the helicopters on the ground.”
The public is being notified to temper concerns and try to limit calls to the 911 dispatch center, said Tom McNamara, emergency management coordinator for La Plata County. “The last time we had a lot of helicopters come through, there were a lot of phone calls made to the airport and the 911 center trying to figure out what was happening,” he said. “I think this time they wanted to say something ahead of time so it didn’t impact all the 911 calls for what was basically a flyover.”