The Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport recorded growth in nearly every metric in 2017.
The growth was highlighted by 36,273 total passengers using the airport in 2017, an 11.7% increase compared to 2016. The passenger growth was fueled by an 11.1% increase in passengers using United Airlines service to Denver and a 21.4% increase in passengers using the Wendover Fun Casino flights.
The airport also saw improvement in commercial airline reliability with a flight completion rate of 98.6% compared to 97.1% in 2016.
“The airport has been working hard over the last year to continue providing an airport and services that the community needs and wants,” said Airport Director Devon Brubaker. “With incredible reliability and more affordable airfares in 2017 compared to prior years coupled with free parking, our community is using the airport more than ever."
Indicative of the local economy, the airport also saw an increase in the amount of cargo being flown through the airport by 8.24%, from 1.2 million to 1.3 million pounds.
“Cargo growth is often a clear indicator of the local economy,” Brubaker continued. “2017 saw moderate growth for the local economy and that was seen in our cargo numbers as well.”
The Wyoming Business Council, the state's economic development agency, awarded a $3 million grant in 2016 to help the airport build a new 22,500 square-foot general aviation hangar and 4,000 square-foot terminal to replace the 70- to 90-year-old facilities.
Airport officials anticipate the new buildings to help increase general aviation traffic by 20 percent and hangar rental revenue by 60 percent in the next five years.
The airport changed its name in February to be more inclusive of the whole region it serves, while positioning the airport better to market on a regional and national scale.
The Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport is a commercial and general aviation airport located seven miles east of Rock Springs in Sweetwater County.
It is owned and operated by the Rock Springs Sweetwater County Airport Joint Powers Board representing both the city of Rock Springs and Sweetwater County.
Serving over 40,000 commercial passengers and thousands of general aviation flights annually, the airport generates an annual economic impact of over $27 million to the local community and $31 million to the State of Wyoming.