Funding for airports helps drive the economy

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Federal funding for Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport to help with projects. Above, recent construction underway.

Jena Doak, [email protected]

SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING (December 22, 2021) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award roughly $15.1 million to Wyoming’s 33 airports with funds made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. This is the first of five annual rounds of funding Wyoming airports will receive.

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This first year, Rock Springs Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport will receive $1,015,599. It will receive close to that amount every year for the next five years, in addition to regular entitlement money that it receives from the FAA each year in the amount of $1 million.

“Every airport in the country has a capital improvement plan that is significantly underfunded, around 86 billion over the next five or six years,” said Devon Brubaker, Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport Director and Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E). “This puts a dent in that.”

The funds may be used for specific projects that are approved by the FAA, such as those having to do with safety, security, noise abatement and capacity increases.

“There’s a general aviation apron on the private side of the airport that needs to be expanded, so we’ll probably look to make some investment in that,” Brubaker said. “We just had a Zoom meeting with the FAA yesterday, which laid out some of the basic parameters of the program, but we will know more in April.”

Having the additional federal dollars for the airport will help create jobs and boost economic activity here in Sweetwater County.

“It will have a trickle-down effect from hotels to restaurants to supply houses to gas stations. It will really help to drive the economy,” said Brubaker.

And that is Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport’s mission — to be an economy-driver for Southwest Wyoming.

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