Key Points:

  • The 160-day, $62 million federally-funded renovation of Runway 09-27 at Cheyenne Regional Airport is concluding, with commercial flights scheduled to resume on Sept. 10.

  • Airport officials have rigorously tested the newly reconstructed runway to meet Federal Aviation Administration standards, confirming that the wet summer did not impact the quality of the work.

  • Ongoing discussions aim to expand air service and attract new airlines, leveraging the airport's upgraded facilities and free parking, among other amenities.

$62 Million Federal Investment to Revamp Cheyenne Airport Comes to Fruition

CHEYENNE — Cheyenne Regional Airport is all set to reopen its runway after a 160-day renovation period, marking the completion of a $62 million project. The runway, which spans 3,600 feet, underwent a thorough reconstruction in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards. 

The last phase of this ambitious venture kicked off on April 1, halting all scheduled flights with regional carrier SkyWest, a United Express affiliate. Tim Bradshaw, Cheyenne Regional Airport's Director of Aviation, confirmed that commercial operations are slated to resume on September 10.Bradshaw revealed that the first flight is already on the schedule, expected to arrive on the evening of September 9. 

The project received funding from various federal agencies, including the FAA, Wyoming Department of Transportation, and the United States National Guard. "The first flight is what we term the 'overnight flight,'" Bradshaw said.

In order to ensure the runway's durability and compliance with FAA regulations, extensive tests have been conducted to assess the tensile strength of the runway's concrete. Bradshaw acknowledged that the construction process involved more intricate procedures than ordinary road repairs. Despite the unusually wet summer, the director verified that the rain had no detrimental effect on the curing concrete.

Part of the renovation project also entailed grooving the runway's pavement and installing lighting fixtures along the perimeter. Wendy Volk, president of the Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team (CRAFT), a nonprofit dedicated to improving air service in the region, highlighted that talks to attract new airlines are underway. However, the immediate goal is to reinstate flights between Cheyenne and Denver. "For us, the priority is to hit a home run with this one," Volk said.

She further expressed optimism that the reconstructed terminal and runway would attract new airline partnerships. Cheyenne Regional Airport has previously garnered favorable feedback for its free parking and closeness to the downtown area. "This is the perfect time to look at Cheyenne," Volk added.

Voters in Wyoming supported the expansion of the airport’s parking area in 2021 through Proposition 6, allocating $823,361 under a specific purpose sales tax. "The parking lot expansion will be a beautiful enhancement as its popularity grows," said Volk.

On the amenity front, the airport, formerly home to Billy Jack's Pizza, is expected to see the return of rental car services and a community room. Plans are also in the pipeline for a new restaurant to fill the void left by the failed eatery, according to Bradshaw.