SHERIDAN— The possibility of an air service in Sheridan by summer is doubtful, Critical Air Service Task Force Chairman Bruce Garber told attendees of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon Wednesday.
In March, CAST members went to SkyWest’s headquarters in St. Georges, Utah, to present their case to SkyWest executives. The group expected to receive feedback on the meeting in the following weeks.
CAST was lobbying for one mid-day flight out of Sheridan to Denver and back, which they hoped would morph into more frequent flights as the partnership progressed. Garber said he was informed earlier this week that SkyWest did not have the resources available to get an air service to Sheridan by August 2015.
“We were just informed this week that … in (SkyWest’s) words, ‘Sheridan is facing an uphill battle,’ and basically, with their fall schedule, they are saying they really don’t have any extra airplanes,” Garber said.
CAST is still exploring options with other airlines like United. CAST met with representatives from that airline in December 2014 in Chicago. However, Sheridan is currently competing for services with other towns who are facing similar challenges caused at least in part by pilot regulations imposed by the federal government.
“Our best option is to continue our discussions with SkyWest and United,” Garber said.
CAST members will continue working to bring a commercial airline service to Sheridan.
Jet passenger service to Sheridan ceased on March 31 when Great Lakes Airlines representatives said the company could no longer financially maintain services to Sheridan.
“We are not giving up; we believe through our efforts we really have a good shot of cracking someone,” Garber said. “But there is no way something will be here in July or August. Hopefully something will come together by this fall.”