The head of a non-profit group working to bring a new air carrier to the Cheyenne Regional Airport said Tuesday the idea of not subsidizing an airline to serve the airport is "not an option."

Wendy Volk is President of the Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team (CRAFT). In an interview on KGAB-AM, Volk said any air carrier will need a minimum revenue guarantee before agreeing to serve Cheyenne Regional Airport.

"This is how the aviation business is established with new (new agreements with air carriers) communities," Volk said of the guarantee.

The subsidy would assure the air carrier of a certain minimum income. If enough passengers use the planes to push revenues beyond a certain level, the subsidy would not be needed.

So far, the Cheyenne City Council has pledged $600,000 to help subsidize a new air carrier and the Laramie County Commission on Tuesday voted for another $600,000 for the revenue guarantee.

CRAFT has privately raised a little over $103,000, and other federal and state money is expected to push the total amount available over $2.2 million.

Volk said air service is an important component of economic development efforts and said without it those efforts will suffer significantly. Cheyenne has been without regularly scheduled air service since Great Lakes Airlines suspended flight operations at the end of March.

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