SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Commission approved memorandums of understanding between WYDOT and four critical air service communities, including Sheridan County, Thursday, finalizing the participation in the state’s Commercial Air Service Improvement Plan.

Gillette, Riverton and Rock Springs are the three other participating communities.

The three-year MOU between Sheridan County and WYDOT can be extended up to 10 years and confirms that SkyWest Airlines will take over as the Sheridan County Airport’s commercial air service provider beginning Jan. 12, 2020. Under the agreement, SkyWest would operate 13 weekly round-trips between Sheridan and Denver, two trips everyday except for Saturday.

In the MOU, the state agrees to pay 60% of the cost of bringing SkyWest to Sheridan, leaving the county responsible for the remaining 40%.

After two years, the agreement stipulates that Sheridan must decrease the cost-per-passenger WYDOT pays by 10%, or WYDOT will take more control of the management of the local service.

With the agreement in place, Sheridan County can begin working with WYDOT to schedule flights and sell tickets for the new service.