Six of Wyoming’s ten airports have seen declines in traffic this past year, according to a new Wyoming Department of Transportation report. But full flights at Jackson’s airport, by far Wyoming’s biggest, means that the state’s overall air traffic is actually up slightly from 2013.
Cheyenne, Sheridan, Worland and Riverton have seen the most dramatic decrease of passengers. Cheyenne’s passenger traffic is down 60 percent from last year. All those airports rely on Great Lakes Airlines: a regional carrier that has struggled to find enough pilots after Congress raised the minimum number of flight hours required for a pilot’s license last year.
This year Riverton airport probably won’t see its goal of boarding ten thousand passengers, says manager Paul Griffin.
“Once we reach that magic number ten thousand then we get a million dollars of entitlement money from the FAA to improve safety.”
In this first 10 months of the year, the airport welcomed 6,500 passengers.
The airport is tourist-heavy Cody is also doing well. Its total traffic is up four percent from 2013.