Riverton City Council approves Air Service Contract with Denver Air; Costs greatly reduced
(Riverton, Wyo.) – After months of work and negotiations, a contract for the next year of commercial air service at Riverton Regional Airport was approved by the city council Tuesday night.
Airport Manager and Public Works Director Kyle Butterfield said the contract is for service in fiscal year 2019, which begins in July. Butterfield said the contract is similar to the first two contracts with the airline company, with a few minor changes. The biggest change, he told the council, is the local cost of guaranteeing the service went down by 47 percent this year.
“The biggest reason (for the lower cost) is the success of the route,” he said. “It’s generating more revenue than we have historically, thereby reducing costs because more people are flying out of Riverton, DAC did reduce some of their operational cost, but most significantly, we are performing so well.” Butterfield said a second airline competed for the route this year, which caused DAC to sharpen its pencil and look for more efficiencies and cost savings.
Due to folks flying out of the county’s lone commercial airport in greater numbers, he said the local Minimum Revenue Guarantee for the contract year will be $397,958. The state, through its Air Service Enhancement Program, will provide $596,937 of the cost for a total cost of $994,895. In fiscal year 2018, the cost to guarantee the service was $1,864,733.
“The Fremont Air Service Team (FAST) has been working with Sheridan’s Critical Air Service Team (CAST) to secure commercial air service for FY19,” Butterfield wrote in a memo to the council. “CAST and FAST have successfully partnered over the last two years on a shared commercial air service route to Denver with Key Lime Air (Denver Air Connection).”
Butterfield also noted that the new contract also contains a revenue sharing agreement for when the route becomes self-sustaining. Under that provision, all excess revenues generated would be awarded in equal parts to Key Lime Air, Sheridan and Riverton.