Airports in Cheyenne and Riverton are on track to fall short of a Federal target for traffic this year. That means they’ll lose almost a million dollars each in federal funding. Jim Schell is the manager of Cheyenne’s regional airport. He says the level of traffic at the airport this year is the lowest it has been in almost three decades.
“Our passenger numbers are down to about 6,000 enplanements this year. Typically they would average 12,000 to 14,000.”
If an airport doesn’t make 10,000 boardings or “enplanements” a year the Federal Government will stop considering it a “vital” airport, and it will lose most of its federal funding for infrastructure development.
An airport’s traffic numbers are the basis for federal funding two years down the line, so Riverton and Cheyenne won’t see their budgets cut until 2016.
Most of Wyoming’s airports have struggled since last year, when Congress raised the minimum number of flight hours needed for a commercial pilot license from 250 to 1500.