Temporary measures promise short- and long-term economic benefits
A $62 million infrastructure investment is coming to the Cheyenne Regional Airport, and almost all of it from federal sources. While the scheduled runway project will bring an influx of funds and jobs to Laramie County, it will also mean short-term inconveniences as commercial jet service will suspend operations for 11 weeks.
The $62 million project will include lighting enhancements, repairs, and other improvements to ensure commercial and military aviation will operate safely well into the future.
“Commercial air travel will resume for mid-summer travel, well before Frontier Days,” says CRAFT President, Wendy Volk. “UnitedExpress travel booked before April 15 and after the runway reopens in July won’t be affected.”
Anyone who has booking questions can contact UnitedExpress. UnitedExpress plans to resume daily flights to Denver to meet the demands of summer travel. The commercial passenger commitment to Cheyenne is a reflection of the success the new airport and air jet service have enjoyed since coming to Cheyenne in late 2018.
“These upgrades are a necessary to keep this important engine of our economic growth and opportunity going,” says Nathan Banton, Cheyenne Regional Airport’s Deputy Director. “Our runway has served us well for over 50 years. That’s longer than most. The work we’re doing will secure the airport as critical economic infrastructure beyond the middle of the 21st century.”
As for C-130 operations, the Cheyenne Regional Airport is working closely with the Wyoming Air National Guard to mitigate and minimize impacts. There is a long history of cooperation between the Airport and its military partners when it comes to runways and other support functions.
A recent aviation economic impact study from WYDOT Aeronautics revealed that the airport and Cheyenne aviation support 2296 total jobs—and air visitors to Cheyenne and the surrounding area account for $10 million in annual economic activity. According to the same study, every $1 invested in the airport and aviation returns $10 in direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts.
In addition to the personal benefits that local commercial flights brings—free parking, no I-25 traffic, short lines, and fast, zero-stress access to the DIA system, where people can connect anywhere in the globe—commercial air service helped secure these funds for Cheyenne’s runway improvements.
Cheyenne’s new airport has the facilities and infrastructure to handle commercial airline needs and the growth of general and corporate aviation. The community is pro-business and has been working diligently to further air service as a key player in the economic growth of the area.
“Worldwide air service hasn’t returned to its pre-virus glory days, but people are coming back,” says Banton. “Airports and air carriers are going to great lengths to keep things clean and safe. I invite everyone to enjoy wonderful flying between now and mid-April, and to come back mid-summer. The support of this community has been tremendous.”