It won’t be perfect. What airline service is? But, the only way Sheridan will keep an air service serving the local airport is if locals give the new company a chance.
Community leaders have negotiated a contract with Key Lime Air subsidiary Denver Air Connection to begin commercial flights to Denver from Sheridan beginning Nov. 19.
Denver Air Connection will fly roundtrip to Denver two times per day.
• Monday through Saturday from Sheridan to Denver at 8 a.m.
• Daily from Sheridan to Denver at 2:10 p.m.
• Daily from Denver to Sheridan at 10:50 a.m.
• Sunday through Friday from Denver to Sheridan at 7:30 p.m.
The flights will be on a 30-seat Dornier 328 jet.
Local businesses and organizations, including Sheridan College, have said they’ll support the air service and will utilize the flights for business travel.
But without local support, the contract won’t work.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation Aeronautics Commission provided the Critical Air Service Team a grant, which Sheridan and Johnson counties sponsored, to subsidize Denver Air Connection and provide a minimum revenue guarantee.
In September, Forward Sheridan Executive Director Jay Stender, who also served on the team that got the service here, said the funding model shows the account breaks even with full flights at an average of $166 a seat. Anything less than that price — or if flights aren’t booked to capacity — means CAST could pay. However, these prices are sure to fluctuate over time depending on fuel costs, how many people fly in and out of Sheridan and other factors.
The service may be different than what you’re used to. CAST representatives have said Transportation Security Administration security screenings may not be in place by the Nov. 19 start date. That could mean flying to Denver then going through security there.
While it sounds like a hassle, you won’t spend any more time going through that process than you would driving to Billings, Montana, to catch a flight, CAST members say.
So while the service may not be perfect and it may not be what you’re used to, give it a try. Locals utilizing the Sheridan County Airport and Denver Air Connection to travel will be the only way this service can work.