(Riverton, WY) – Central Wyoming Regional Airport has exceeded 15,000 commercial passenger enplanements for the first time in thirteen years.
On Sunday, December 26th, 2021, a total of 15,121 flyers had departed from Fremont County’s commercial service airport for the year.
In the last twenty years, only calendar years 2007 (15,559) and 2008 (16,847) had recorded more commercial enplanements than the benchmark achieved in 2021.
“What a significant accomplishment for our community and airport,” said Kyle Butterfield, Public Works Director and Airport Manager. “Thanks to the investment and dedication of our partners through the years, we have finally returned to the level of service we knew was possible in Fremont County.”
Butterfield added, “The fact that we reached this milestone when the transportation industry is still reeling from the impacts of a global pandemic is even more impressive. SkyWest Airlines, operating under the banner of United Express, has made all the difference.”
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) administered by the Federal Aviation Administration provides financial assistance to airport infrastructure projects (e.g. runways, taxiways, and airport markings) in order to promote safety and strengthen the nation’s aviation network.
Airports are entitled to a certain amount of AIP funding each year, based on passenger volumes. When passenger enplanements exceed 10,000 in a calendar year, airports become eligible for $1 Million in AIP funds. Central Wyoming Regional Airport reached the 10,000 enplanement threshold for the first time in eight years on September 16, 2021.
The Fremont Air Service Team (FAST) recognized the value of the 1/2 Cent Economic Development Tax passed in 2020 as a major contributor to sustaining and improving commercial air service in Fremont County.
According to Missy White, Chair of FAST, “Without the support of the economic development tax, Fremont County wouldn’t be able to maintain commercial air service moving forward.”
She further explained, “A few years ago, a major change was made in the airline industry: regional air service can only be provided to regional communities when a specific margin is guaranteed for airlines. Thanks to the community’s support of the economic development tax, rural Wyoming can be easily connected to the rest of the country, which is critical for our business and tourism economies.”