Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr say they hope a new Cheyenne Airport Terminal will help in long-term economic development efforts.

The groundbreaking ceremony on the new 26,000 square foot, $10 million terminal was held on Tuesday morning in Cheyenne. The project is expected to take about a year to complete. The existing airport terminal is over 50 years old, and a study that was conducted a decade ago found the building was inadequate for the needs of the airport.

Another $6 million will go toward building a new commercial apron area at the airport for three aircraft.

Money for the work came from the Laramie County sixth-penny sales tax, the Wyoming Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration. Work on the project had originally been slated to start last July, but delays in the release of some of the FAA funds pushed that schedule back by several months.

In his comments on Tuesday, Governor Mead recalled many conversations he has had with representatives of companies that do a lot of business in Wyoming but are headquartered elsewhere, such as in Dallas or Houston.

The governor says when he asks why the companies aren't located in Wyoming, the answer is usually "air service."  The governor says the airport terminal project is important because it sends a message that Wyoming is willing to invest in air service.

Mayor Orr said the new terminal "will be a gem for Cheyenne." She also said she is hopeful the new terminal will help attract new air carriers to the airport. She says she is hoping President Trump will reduce some of the current restrictions on pilot hours, making pilots more available for airlines and paving the way for expanded air service to cities such as Cheyenne.

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