“I was initially shocked that Cheyenne Regional Airport Director Tim Barth nor I were contacted by Mr. Doug Voss and afforded the courtesy of personal communication,” Orr stated. “But after further reflection, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Last minute cancelled flights and their lack of reliability is simply a mirror of their leadership. I only hope they did better by their employees and provided some financial relief as they search for new jobs."
Great Lakes made the announcement on their website and Facebook on Monday evening.
The mayor went on to say:
“This is not a time to panic, but rather instead realize we need to make some hard decisions sooner versus later. The tough decision to be made is how do we pay and how much are we willing to pay - to bring a reliable air carrier into Cheyenne? While initially a subsidy may be necessary, I am only willing to do so if the numbers pencil out that doing so won’t be on-going. That the flights will pay for themselves, and ultimately, bring additional sales tax revenue.”
Orr expressed the need to look beyond Cheyenne and to the South where she says increased traffic time for all the communities along the front range makes flying out of Cheyenne an overall better experience than driving to, and parking, at Denver International Airport (DIA).
She added the following comments:
“Voters approved the new air terminal because they saw the future need, and that future is now. We had to meet the increased federal safety regulations, and our new terminal will provide for that,” Orr added. “We are an important diversion site for DIA, and our airport receives big dollars every time that happens. We can’t forget how important Cheyenne is for the Wyoming Air National Guard. The new terminal was never a ‘build it and they will come’ project. It was necessary because of both federal mandates and aging infrastructure.”
Because of Great Lakes suspension of commercial flights, Cheyenne is without a commercial air carrier. The mayor said earlier in the day she is hoping to get an air carrier to servie the city by the end of the year, possibly as soon as November.