Despite Rainy Summer, Cheyenne Regional Airport To Reopen Sept. 10

A new runway at Cheyenne Regional Airport that forced the airport to close is nearly complete, despite an unusually rainy summer. Flights are set to resume Sept. 10.

Renée Jean

August 21, 20235 min read

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Cheyenne Regional Airport has been closed this summer to build a new runway, but the project is nearing completion. 

The airport plans to reopen for flights into and out of Cheyenne starting Sept. 10, with the first flight set to land Sept. 9. Airline tickets are already available for the flights at

“There are a couple of little minor issues that the contractor has tried to sort out, but we’re confident that those won’t amount to changing the schedule,” Cheyenne Regional Airport Director Tim Bradshaw told Cowboy State Daily. “We’ve had a lot of rain, so you get corners that may have some small cracking or chipping, things like that. It’s not anything to do with the strength of the runway, it’s more like when you build a house, you do a check to make sure that like all the cabinets are straight.”

Bradshaw said despite all the rain, it appears the runway project will be completed by the projected date.

“They worked seven days a week, they worked all the holidays, July 4, Memorial Day, all of them,” Bradshaw said. “Every day, with all that rain, they were still able to get the job done. Just a tremendous effort on (IHC Scott’s) part.”

Punch List Time, Loose Ends

At this point, all of the concrete for the runway has been poured, Bradshaw said. It was 60,000 square yards of concrete for the $24 million project replacing the runway.

Testing is now underway to ensure the proper tensile strength for the runway, Bradshaw said, and so far everything looks good. 

“Of course, the concrete gets harder as time goes on,” he said. 

IHC Scott’s crews are working to tie in the light systems and get all the necessary flight checks done on the instrument landing system, Bradshaw said. 

“It’s grading, it’s all those other things that have to be done,” he said. “The grooving on the runway, we have to go back and put in grooves, sawed every half an inch or so. That gives it the friction for stopping.”

Joints are also saw-cut so there won’t be pressure cracks.

“It’s very complicated. It’s like building a bridge I guess,” Bradshaw said. “They groove the concrete for friction. They saw-cut for expansion. Then they go back and they put in this material between the joints, so it can contract and expand.”

No Repair Work in 2024 After All

Earlier this year, Cowboy State Daily was told that the airport would need some repair work in 2024 that would likely limit the number of passengers on flights during the summer.

However, since that time new information has come back about the project, and the repair work is no longer recommended.

“We had the American Concrete Pavers Association look at the results, and that came back and they said some of them were borderline,” Bradshaw said. “They said it would cause more damage to come back in and tear up those sections of concrete — and they are on the outer edges of the runway — that the benefit would not be worth going back to replace those panels.”

The FAA has agreed with that, Bradshaw said, as well as the National Guard. 

“It’s best to leave them in place, because we know they will get harder over time,” Bradshaw said. “Some of those lots we didn’t pay for because of that. It was maybe two lots. So we felt like it was the best situation to just leave them in place, and we’ll be done with the project this year.”

The sections in question will be monitored closely, Bradshaw said, and if they are showing premature signs of wear or deterioration, that will be addressed at that time. 

“They have at least five to 10 years, that’s when you might see something,” Bradshaw said, adding that the airport’s runways are inspected daily anyway.  

New Event Set for Aug. 26 Ahead of Opening

Leading up to the airport’s reopening, a big 5K on the Runway is on tap. The airport is partnering with the RISE Foundation of Wyoming to begin a free, family-friendly 5K. The date of the first is set for 1-4 p.m. Saturday. 

The RISE Foundation provides wellbeing programs to support active-duty personnel and veterans.

The rain-or-shine event is intended for all ages, and will include a cornhole tournament, cockpit viewing of airplanes, Blackhawk and C-130 aircraft for observation, wellness resources and music by DJ Sound FX.

Food trucks will be on site for drinks and snow cones, but food will be provided for all participants. On the menu are hamburgers and chips.

Efforts To Attract New Flights Continues

Bradshaw said Cheyenne is still working to attract new flights to the community, but a severe pilot shortage continues to hamper those efforts.

“We’re always continuing our talks with other airlines, and we share data with them about the market,” Bradshaw said. “Right now they’re kind of focusing on the market that they have, and just trying to keep up with a labor shortage. There’s just a lot of reasons why we’re just not on (the airlines) radar right now.”

Boardings last year were up 60%, despite runway restrictions last summer that included weight and balance limits. 

Renée Jean can be reached at

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Renée Jean

Business and Tourism Reporter