The Cheyenne City Council on Monday night approved spending up to $600,000 to support safe and reliable commercial passenger air service at the Cheyenne Regional Airport.

Cheyenne has been without an air carrier since late March, when Great Lakes Airlines announced it was shutting down operations.

"The consequences of not doing something in partnership with all of the stakeholders that have something in the game are going to be a voter approved $18 million airport to nowhere or a warehouse," said Councilman Rocky Case.

"I think we have an obligation to do our due diligence here to make certain the right thing is done," Case added.

The $600,000 will be combined with county, state, federal and private money to form a "minimum revenue guarantee" to help an air carrier avoid losing too much money should it take a chance on Cheyenne.

"This is an opportunity for economic development for our community," said Case. "It's not about what are we spending here, it's about the long term gain of what we can get by doing this in partnership with all the stakeholders."

Laramie County commissioners are expected to pledge up to the same amount in the coming weeks.

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