Commercial flights will resume on November 1 at Cheyenne Airport


October 15 – CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne Regional Airport Council announced Thursday that commercial airline flights to and from the capital are scheduled to resume on November 1.

The airport will serve two United Express flights per day to and from Denver International Airport and will have over 100 seats for each trip. This was made possible by the completion of phase two of the track construction, which will continue over the next year.

“We are committed to ensuring that the track is open and safe at that time,” said ARC General Manager Nathan Barton.

Delays due to the pandemic and supply chain issues have been a major setback for the airport in recent months.

Tim Barth, director of aviation at Cheyenne Regional Airport, said this was because runway construction had not been immune to nationwide stock shortages. Throughout the year, the airport struggled to find concrete suppliers and the eventual transport of materials was affected by the lack of truck drivers.

He said what was supposed to be a three month project quickly turned into a six and a half.

But as phase two of the project is complete and commercial air service returns, the future of the airport is still in jeopardy.

The Federal Aviation Administration has allocated about $ 60 million for the construction of the Cheyenne Airport runway, but it will be administered in doses over the next five years. With insufficient funding to complete the project, the airport risks closing twice more and delaying its grand reopening.

U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Addressed panelists at the Senate Trade Committee meeting last month in Washington and asked for support from federal officials to readjust the timing of the dispersal of funds. This would allow the airport to receive full payment within one year and only close the runway once.

“Without some funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airport will not be able to offer commercial air service for the foreseeable future, maybe a year or two,” Lummis said. “That would make it the only state in the country whose capital does not have commercial air service.”

This affects not only residents of Laramie County and surrounding areas, but also members of the Wyoming Air National Guard and airmen stationed at FE Warren Air Force Base, as the nuclear missile base does not have a track.

Barth said the board was unaware of the ongoing conversations in the nation’s capital regarding the funds, but Lummis and his staff will update them by the end of the year.

Conversations about the airport’s financial situation are not just happening on the east coast, but also in Laramie County. The airport is included in two proposals on the sixth-centime sales tax vote, which are unrelated to the construction of the runway.

Funding of over $ 800,000 is included in Proposal 3 for the development of a larger parking lot for the airport. Barth said when the new terminal was built, only 60 spaces were reserved for parking, and that’s not doable with two flights a day starting next month.

Proposal 14 is entirely dedicated to the airport and requires a much greater investment from the community. Nearly $ 2.25 million would be used by the City of Cheyenne to fund the minimum income guarantee for the airline.

Federal law prohibits the airport from participating in the minimum income guarantee. Small communities require it to offer some form of insurance to the commercial airline in case the route is not as successful as expected.

Sixty percent of the funding has already come from the state, and the rest is the responsibility of the city and county. Laramie County paid its share, and the city would make up the remaining 20%.

“If the citizens want this to happen,” Barth said, “we have to provide this security blanket.”

County residents will have the opportunity to vote on November 2 for both proposals. Barth said he saw the community rally around the airport in previous elections, and he hopes they will continue to support the board’s efforts.

Jasmine Hall is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle education reporter. She can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 307-633-3167. Follow her on Twitter @jasminerhphotos and on Instagram @ jhrose25.

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