Sen. Mike Enzi believes Wyoming airports should remain a viable travel option and recently introduced legislation to help guarantee small airports access to critical funds.
The federal funding bill, however, will not affect the Yellowstone Regional Airport, director Bob Hooper said Monday. The applies to airports that have fewer than 10,000 passenger boardings, he explained.
“We continue to maintain increased boardings in and out of Cody, so we will not be affected” he said.
The 10,000-minimum boardings happen because of the safety limit for pilots needing 1500 hours of base training in order to fly. That rule limits the number of pilots available, he said.
In 2014 Cheyenne fell short of the 10,000 boarding limit, and Riverton and Sheridan are projected not to meet the minimum this year.
“Small airports play a vital transportation role across Wyoming,” Enzi said. “These airports shouldn’t be excluded from receiving critical funds because of drops in regional air travel outside of their control.”
The bill was cosponsored by Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Al Franken, D-Minn., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.