Riverton could support two daily jet flights to Denver, airport board is told

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Riverton Airport Board was told last week that Wyoming Aeronautics believes Riverton can support twice-daily jet service to Denver with an annual revenue guarantee in the neighborhood of  $2.1 milllion.

Missy White of Lander, chair of the Air Service Enhancement Task Force, reported that the local share of that guarantee would be less than that, given that Riverton is in line to receive a share of Wyoming Enhanced Air Service Program grants, perhaps as much as $1.2 million. “It’s a good faith estimate, not a hard and fast number,” she said. “It’s a revenue guarantee and not a subsidy. If we get enough passengers, the amount would be prorated down from that. That is why we need to get the big picture out to the county and have people start using the airport again.”

White said Riverton’s past history of boarding over 30,000 passengers is a positive when looking at enhanced air service, but she said that was in the distant past. “If we can get people flying again, it will demonstrate that we could generate that number again, and make Riverton attractive for such jet service. We have to prove to them that we are a proven entity.”

She also said connecting Riverton with another city might not be realistic for jet service, due to the costs involved every time an aircraft has to take off and land. “It’s not something a legacy carrier is interested in. Direct flights are preferred.”

The Airport Board was told that the reliability of Great Lakes commercial flights coming into Riverton has increased dramatically from the first quarter of the year. Out of 150 flights in June, only 12 were cancelled. The increased performance is due in part to Riverton being connected with Worland on flights to and from Denver. Worland is an airport where air service is subsidized and guaranteed.