Reliable Air Service to Return to Riverton July 1st with new airline

(Riverton, Wyo.) - If approved by the City Council this coming Tuesday, reliable commercial air service will return to Riverton Regional Airport on July 1st. The city is teaming up with the Sheridan County Airport to provide two daily flights to Denver with one evening return flight on the Denver Air Connection, DAC, operated by Key Lime Air. That service would be on a 30 passenger Donier jet aircraft. A charter airline, DAC does not sell its own tickets nor set the price of its tickets, so the city is also proposing to engage the services of the same consultants used in Sheridan to provide that service. Airport Manager and Public Works Director Kyle Butterfield said Riverton's service would be tied with Sheridan, an initial agreement that will lower the ultimate revenue guarantee pledged to DAC by both Sheridan and Riverton, if airline tickets alone do not cover the cost of service. Under the shared cost agreement with Sheridan County Airport, Riverton's 50 percent portion for the revenue guarantee is $1,988,483, which will be covered by grants Riverton has received from WYDOT Aeronautics and the Federal Small Community Air Service Development Program. The more tickets sold on the route, the less revenue guarantee would be required. Sheridan County Airport reported that they are using their revenue guarantee faster than anticipated, so teaming up with Riverton made financial sense. Riverton's Idea Inc. has committed to paying the monthly fee of $6,500 for the ticketing service with funds reserved by the cities of Riverton and Lander and Fremont County to make up the difference. Each of those entities has pledged $200,000. A one-way ticket to Denver is being negotiated at an average rate of around $175. Because it is a charter aircraft, DAC does not have code sharing or baggage agreements with any other airline, similar to Frontier and Southwest. Riverton passengers would arrive at Denver's Concourse A and be shuttled to the main terminal to check in for connecting flights. Passengers headed only to Denver could go directly to rental cars or other transportation options to continue their trip. [image: Inline image 1] *Riverton Regional Airport Terminal (Pitchengine Communities) * *What about Great Lakes Airlines?* Currently, Riverton Regional is tied in with Worland on flights to and from Denver with Great Lakes Airlines. With Worland Municipal Airport receiving notice that its Essential Air Service subsidy is likely to end, the loss of that revenue guarantee to Great Lakes is expected to result in Great Lakes ending service in Riverton, as well, Butterfield said. "It is difficult to imagine that GLA would continue service," he if that $2.3 million subsidy for Worland goes away. *Proposed Flight Schedule* Under the proposed agreement with DAC, there would be two outgoing daily flights to Denver Monday through Saturday and one on Sunday. "The first flight will depart RIW at 8:09 a.m. and arrive in Denver at 9:18 a.m. The second flight would depart from RIW at 12:29 p.m., and after tagging with Sheridan County Airport, would arrive in Denver at 2:56 p.m. An evening return flight from Denver would depart Colorado at 7:12 p.m. and arrive at RIW at 8:21 p.m. According to Butterfield, "if Sheridan is used as a model, it will take time for Fremont County to regain its market confidence in RIW." He said the DAC service to Sheridan has been 98.6 percent reliable. [image: Inline image 2] *Passengers disembark from a DAC flight in Sheridan. (Pitchengine Communities) * A marketing campaign will be launched three months before the service begins to promote the new airline and service from Riverton. #county10 #news