Only 12 cancellations last month at Riverton Regional; Air service reliability improving

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Riverton Regional Airport is in real danger of slipping below the 10,000 passenger enplanement mark for the first time in over a decade this year. Through June, enplanements have totaled 4.052, compared to 6,121 one year ago. Airport manager Paul Griffin said that the airport would only reach around 8,000 enplanements by the end of the year at the present rate.

The Riverton Airport Board discussed the enplanement issue at its Friday meeting and, despite the low passenger numbers to date, there is some good news.

Griffin noted that service from the airport’s only commercial air carrier, Great Lakes Aviation, has increased substantially from the first quarter of the year when one-third to one-half of all flights were cancelled. A new Federal Aviation Administration rule requires all pilots to have 1,500 flight hours. Previously, the co-pilots could fly with 250 hours to build up their time in the cockpit.

“There were only 12 cancellations in June out of 150 departures,” he said, “and only five of those were maintenance.”

Griffin said that since Great Lakes paired Riverton with Worland on flights to Denver, flight reliability had dramatically increased. Worland’s service is subsidized and guaranteed under the Essential Air Service Program.

“We are fortunate to have Great Lakes while other airports are losing service,” City Council member Richard Gard said at the meeting. “They are getting better and we need to try to get people to switch back from Casper and Denver to using Riverton again.”

Griffin said it was his belief that Great Lakes flights were running at about half capacity or better in the past month.

“Things are better, Great Lakes is doing better, and we need to let people know,” said Airport Board Chairman Dean Peranteaux.

7 Comments

  1. John Brown

    Too little, too late I'm afraid…

  2. Liz Davis

    Things may be better, but that airport has lost me and my family as customers. I can't plan travel that may or may not happen–too risky.

  3. Kevin Donahoe

    RIW needs to pull it's resources together and attract a real airline. The first problem is that Great Lakes is code-share only with United and Frontier meaning the fares published from RIW to point B are not through fares as you would see published on a single carrier from point A to B. This is why you'll always see better fares from CPR, DEN and COD. Secondly, there is a severe pilot shortage and the active pilots currently online are restricted to maximum hours. The best and sustainable solution is to contract with Delta connection or United Express and tag the flight onto existing service such as CPR, RKS, COD or JAC. Sure it would mean an intermediate stop before finally landing in the hub city such as DEN or SLC but at least it would be sustainable, affordable and reliable. RIW can accomplish this model by pooling subsidy funds with another city. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Continental would tag RIW flights onto CPR and COD flights from DEN and the yield and seat revenue was successful.

  4. Andy Jive

    I think Airport Board Chairman Dean Peranteaux should continue looking for another or a partner back up service to Great Lakes as I will start flying out of Riverton, once again.
    To others that may have bad or ill feelings towards the airport, I'd suggest using or losing a quality airport. While holding. As Casper is not a short distance, let alone Denver.

  5. Judy Legerski

    I continue to fly out of RIW regularly because it is more convenient. I have not had a cancelled flight in 4 months & only 2 flights that were late. Guess I have been lucky – maybe should be buying lottery tickets. All of this bad publicity is killing our airport — and many of us need it to continue working out of state.
    The big problem now is that the morning flight is too late for many of us to catch our flights to the east coast so we can get there at a reasonable time. Even having the "early" flight go out 45 minutes earlier would be a great help.

  6. Arlene Wichelhaus

    Just used Casper airport this am instead of Riverton. Would love to use Riverton but instead we drive to Casper the nite before, pay for hotel and dinner and he leaves for work in Texas on the 6am flight and then I drive home. Riverton Airport is unreliable; whether its late or flights cancelled. He uses the airport twice a month. Being late to work is not an option!

  7. Rebecca Landis

    It would be nice to get another airline into Riverton that would fly to Salt Lake City or Billings too. A better price on tickets would be nice also.

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