State subsidies could help Sheridan air service - KOTA Territory News

State subsidies could help Sheridan air service

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A community task force hopes Wyoming's new budget bill will lead to better air service.

A half million more dollars is set aside for subsidies to boost air service in the Cowboy State's small communities.

The Sheridan-Johnson Counties Critical Air Service Task Force plans on applying to use some of that to go along with a three to four month local fundraising effort to attract another airline to the area to compete with Great Lakes Airlines. The funds raised would go toward offsetting the new airline's revenue guarantee to lessen its risk for coming to the smaller airports.

The task force chairman says he's grateful to have GLA here, but competition would bring more travelers to fly out of Sheridan.

"Right now, we're losing about 75 percent of our travelers to other airports. The main one being Billings, some to Casper, and even some to Denver," said task force chairman Bruce Garber.

Jeremiah Bird from Pueblo, Colorado, thinks competition is good for the customer. His noon flight to Denver from Sheridan was canceled and the new one delayed by more than an hour. But he says he's used to this sort of thing no matter the airport.

"They called and canceled due to the little snowstorm that you all had. And then we got pushed back another hour on this flight. It's pretty normal for us. I have been held up a few times, and had to stay overnight for cancellations," said Bird.

A call to Great Lakes Airlines for comment was not returned.

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