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Passengers deplane on the runway Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at Cheyenne Regional Airport. The airport recently celebrated its 10,000th enplanement of the year. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CORRECTION: The original version of this story said American Airlines plans to end the current twice-daily flights to and from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport after Sept. 3. The airline actually will resume once-a-day flight on Friday, Oct. 4. The mistake was due to incorrect information provided to the newspaper. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle regrets the error.

CHEYENNE – Cheyenne Regional Airport reached an important milestone when American Airlines Flight 3117 departed at 5:46 a.m. Aug. 6, bound for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The flight marked the airport’s 10,000th enplanement, the act or process of boarding an aircraft, for the year.

In addition, airport officials reported that more than 20,000 passengers have flown on American Airlines flights from Cheyenne in 2019, and more than 23,500 passengers have flown since the service started in November.

American Airlines, marketed as American Eagle, began providing once-daily service between Cheyenne Regional Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Nov. 4. The airline then announced a second daily flight with the same route, which began May 4 and will continue through Oct. 3.

Dallas/Fort Worth is the largest of 10 hubs American Airlines and American Eagle operates, and serves as a gateway to Mexico and Latin America.

The flights are operated by SkyWest Airlines. Each CRJ200 regional jet seats roughly 50 passengers.

The 10,000th enplanement is a significant accomplishment, but Director of Aviation Tim Barth said that number is important for another reason – actually, 850,000 reasons.

“That means that the airport is now eligible for $1 million of maintenance money a year from the federal government,” Barth said. “That’s opposed to before, when we were only getting about $150,000 a year. When we see those types of passengers using a facility, and we get that extra money, it makes these runway projects a lot more feasible to do.”

Passengers can reserve tickets at www.aa.com.

Prior to those flights, Cheyenne had been without commercial air service since March 2018, when Great Lakes Airlines suspended all turboprop flights.

The first American Eagle flights almost coincided with completion of the airport’s new $18.5 million terminal. Q&D Construction, with the help of more than 20 subcontractors, finished the project with little time to spare.

The airport received more good news recently when federal officials gave the OK to a $350,000 infrastructure grant for a reconstruction design project for the airport’s main runway, designated as runway 9/27.

The grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program will be administered by the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division.

The total cost for reconstructing the runway, a three-year project, is about $40 million, according to Barth. The majority of the funding, around 97%, will come from the FAA, with the remaining balance coming from the state of Wyoming, Wyoming Air National Guard and the airport.

Steve Knight is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. He can be reached at 307-633-3182 or sknight@wyomingnews.com.

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