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Cheyenne Regional Airport

Cheyenne Air Service To Denver To Resume Nov. 1

in News/Transportation
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming will no longer have the distinction of having the only state capital without air service.

The Cheyenne Regional Airport on Thursday announced that air service will finally resume in Cheyenne on November 1.

The airport’s runway has been under construction for months and suffered multiple delays.

Airport director Tim Barth told Cowboy State Daily that it was exciting to announce the conclusion of the delayed runway repair project.

“We are so excited to re-establish air service on Nov. 1, because all of our community in southeast Wyoming will now have access to air service, especially for the upcoming holidays,” Barth said.

The airport has been closed for commercial air travel for months, due to repairs that were originally scheduled to be completed this summer in time for Cheyenne Frontier Days.

That didn’t happen because of a nationwide shortage of a specific type of concrete that must be used according to Federal Aviation Administration rules. A lack of workers was also making the process take months longer to complete.

Barth said travelers using Denver International Airport have told him tales of agonizingly long lines and massive headaches when it comes to parking.

“If you come to our airport, you don’t have to take a shuttle. You’re parked right next to the airport and we’ve got plenty of free parking,” Barth said. “There’s no traffic on I-25 to get to the Cheyenne airport.”

Barth added that the airport is also adding a restaurant, Billy Jack’s Pizza Pub, that he is hoping will be open in January.

In September, U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis received a commitment from Department of Transportation officials to expedite federal funds to assist with the project.

“It is not a long-term solution for the city of Cheyenne to be without air service,” Lummis said. “In addition to that, it’s a huge problem for Cheyenne’s economy, it will jeopardize our state’s efforts to combat wildfires and it jeopardizes procurement for F.E. Warren Air Force Base.”

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Lummis Grills Dept of Transportation Nominees; Gets Them To Commit To Getting Cheyenne Airport Open

in News/Cynthia Lummis
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U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis convinced two U.S. Department of Transportation nominees to commit to relaunching air service in Cheyenne, where no commercial airport has been in service for more than a year.

During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing this week, Lummis questioned Victoria Wassmer and Mohsin Syed about their willingness to help get the Cheyenne Regional Airport back in service if they were confirmed to the positions they’ve been nominated for in the department.

“The Cheyenne airport is facing serious challenges and they’re threatening the long-term viability of commercial air service right now,” Lummis said. “Cheyenne has absolutely no commercial air service. That’s been the case since last spring.”

The airport has been closed due to repairs that were originally scheduled to be completed this summer, in time for Cheyenne Frontier Days. However, the airport announced mid-summer it would not open for the 10-day rodeo.

The runway repair was slowed by nationwide shortage of a specific type of concrete that must be used according to Federal Aviation Administration rules. A lack of workers is also making the process take months longer to complete, Wyoming News Now reported.

Lummis pointed to FAA approval as one of the major factors slowing the repair project and said she was worried the capital city might not have air service for even longer than expected, possibly another year or two.

“Without FAA funds being expedited, the airport will not be able to offer commercial air service for the foreseeable future. Maybe a year or two years or more. That would make it the only state in the nation whose capital city has no commercial air service,” she said.

This week, Wyoming News Now reported that airport officials are eyeing a new opening date for later this year, hopefully in time for the holidays.

“It is not a long-term solution for the city of Cheyenne to be without air service,” Lummis said. “In addition to that, it’s a huge problem for Cheyenne’s economy, it will jeopardize our state’s efforts to combat wildfires and it jeopardizes procurement for F.E. Warren Air Force Base.”

Syed, who has been nominated to serve as the DOT’s assistant secretary for government affairs, confirmed to Lummis that he has spoken with her staff about the issue in Cheyenne, and affirmed he would commit to helping the senator with relaunching air service in the city. Wassmer also committed to working with Lummis if she won confirmation.

“We’ll work closely to identify other opportunities associated with the funding for the runway improvements that are happening there at Cheyenne,” Wassmer said.

Lummis is not the only person frustrated with the lack of commercial air options in Cheyenne, with many people visiting the Cheyenne Regional Airport’s Facebook page questioning when flights might again be offered, as some do not want to drive to Denver to catch a plane.

“Wow Cheyenne! One epic fail after another. Maybe try a change in your good ole boy thinking for christs sake..you and your pro trumpian and anti vax attitude are the laughing stock of the world.. but every circus needs a clown!” user Kyle C. Baber said.

“I travel frequently for business & leisure. Its very frustrating to go to Denver for flights. So to get the great rates and flights out of Cheyenne Wy is huge for myself, business partners & family” user Tara LH said.

“Put real airlines to fly in and out of the airport!!!! Such an inconvenience to have to go to denver to fly!!!” user Latini Jmarie said.

“We had tickets to fly in for Frontier Days in 2020. American gave us a credit, so we couldn’t fly into Cheyenne in 2021, did the Denver ratrace. Never again,” user Janet Gabbert said.

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In the market for an airplane? Great Lakes has 16 for sale

in News/Travel/Business
1131

By Cowboy State Daily

Sixteen airplanes parked at the old Cheyenne Regional Airport are being stored for Great Lakes Airlines while the company tries to sell them.

Great Lakes stopped its flights in and out of Cheyenne in March of 2018 and is trying to wind down its business, said Nathan Banton, general manager of aviation for the Cheyenne Regional Airport.

The bank that holds the company’s loans is working with Great Lakes sell the airline’s assets, Banton said.

“As part of that process, they agreed to move out of the building they’ve been in for a lot of years …” he said. “In order to facilitate that happening, we allowed them to take over other space in order to store the aircraft and such while they work on selling it off.”

Great Lakes owes the airport back rent for space, Banton said, but he added the bank holding the notes for the company has been working with the airport.

“The bank has been working in good faith with us, so we’re working in good faith with them,” he said.

Update: Highways, offices to remain closed Thursday as major storm pummels Wyoming

in News/weather
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Update from our Robert Geha in the midst of this winter bomb cyclone.

By Cowboy State Daily (Editor’s note: this story will be updated throughout the day. Last updated 7:00PM, March 13, 2019.)

Traffic in southeastern Wyoming ground to a halt on Wednesday as interstate, U.S. and state highways throughout the region were closed by a strong winter storm.

Businesses, schools and government offices in Cheyenne shut down as the storm raged through the region, with heavy snow and winds gusting to more than 50 mph dropping visibility to near zero.

A number, including Laramie County School Districts No. 1 and 2 and the Laramie County government offices, planned to remain closed through Thursday, when the storm hammering an area from Denver to the Dakotas was expected to release its grip on the region.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning through Thursday night for Laramie and Goshen counties and for the western Nebraska panhandle.

The City of Cheyenne, Laramie County School District No. 1 and the Cheyenne Regional Airport made their decisions Tuesday to close for Wednesday and the State of Wyoming followed suit early Wednesday morning, when Gov. Mark Gordon urged people to stay out of the weather.

“This storm has the potential to be particularly dangerous,” he said in a news release. “My advice is to stay put and shelter in place. Stay home, stay off the roads and stay safe and warm.”

Echoing that advice was the state Department of Homeland Security’s Deputy Director Leland Christensen.

“The message from Homeland Security is take care of your family, stay home and no unnecessary travel,” he said. “If there is a problem, rather than venture out, reach out to your officials and see if we can’t get you some help.”

As conditions deteriorated Wednesday, the Wyoming Department of Transportation closed Interstate 80 from Cheyenne west to Rock Springs and north to Buffalo. Accidents dotted Interstate 80 from Cheyenne to Rawlins.

U.S. and state highways throughout southeastern Wyoming were closed due to slick conditions and limited visibility. The Wyoming Transportation Department offered no estimate for when the roads might be open again.

As roads in and out of Cheyenne closed, truck drivers parked at truck stops or on roads nearby and prepared to spend a day or two waiting for the highways to open again.

At the Flying J Travel Center south of Cheyenne, employees said all 195 of the facility’s semi truck parking spaces were full.

“We have lots of drivers here,” said Amanda Gladgo. “They’re parked on the roads, too.”

Scattered power outages were also reported in rural Laramie County and near Glendo.

Storm conditions prompted the Red Cross to open a shelter at the Converse County National Guard Armory.

The storm was predicted to be the most widespread blizzard in almost 40 years, stretching from Denver north through southeastern Wyoming and into the Nebraska panhandle and Dakotas.

The historic nature of the storm drew a crew from The Weather Channel to Cheyenne on Wednesday.

A number of communities across southern and eastern Wyoming joined Cheyenne in shutting down schools and government offices, including Torrington, Laramie, Casper, Newcastle, Glendo and Chugwater. The University of Wyoming closed its classes at about 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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