Telluride Regional Airport (IATA: TEX, ICAO: KTEX, FAA LID: TEX) is a public use airport located five nautical miles (9 km) west of the Central business district of Telluride, a town in San Miguel County, Colorado, United States. It is owned by the Telluride Regional Airport Authority. At an elevation of 9,078 feet (2767 m) above sea level, it is the highest commercial airport in North America.
Telluride Regional Airport covers an area of 542 acres (219 ha) and has one runway designated 9/27 which measures 6,911 by 100 feet (2,106 by 30 m). Located on a plateau, the airport's single runway dips slightly in the center. The runway can be a very challenging approach for pilots, particularly those operating commuter aircraft or business jets. During winter months, approximately 20% of the scheduled commuter airline flights end up having to divert to other nearby airports because of abruptly adverse landing conditions. Pilots must contend with high terrain exceeding 14,000 feet (4,300 m) at all quadrants, as well as the airport's location on a plateau with a thousand-foot (300 m) drop to the San Miguel River below.
Pilots must exercise great caution whenever southerly winds exceed 15 knots (some say as little as 8 knots), and be aware of rotors, strong turbulence and down-drafts associated with the plateau cliffs during the approach. Most approaches into Telluride come from the west onto Runway 9, from the direction of Placerville and Sawpit. Pilots must stay on the right side of the valley on approach, to avoid potential traffic conflicts.