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New Terminal Project Information


Overview | Costs | Conceptual Design | FAQs

What is the New Terminal Project Information?

We did receive our request for the New Terminal Project Information.

Cheyenne needs a fresh face

Although the existing terminal has served its purpose well, it has far surpassed its useful years and contains many deficiencies.

Many issues of the current terminal were identified in a feasibility study performed in 2007-2008.

  Conceptual depiction of the flight side of terminal  

The problems identified are as follows:


While the existing parking availability is sufficient for everyday use, even moderate increases in activity, such as holiday traffic, charter operations or the addition of new carriers, significantly limits parking availability.


The present location of the terminal does not allow for sufficient expansion of either parking or the facility without removing several historic buildings.


The existing facility contains substandard electrical systems, obsolete heating systems, non-existent building-wide cooling facilities, antiquated plumbing facilities, and insufficient kitchen facilities. Additionally, the existing facility contains no form of fire suppression and asbestos is present in several locations.

Gate area

The holding area beyond the security checkpoint was never meant to be a holding area and lacks both services and capacity.
As a temporary solution, the Airport brought in a modular building in 2010 to accommodate travelers and mitigate existing deficiencies. The small facility provides a climate-controlled waiting area with all needed amenities.

Expansion ability

While options still exist to place additional tenants or carriers within the terminal, the options are less than attractive due to lack of space for such an expansion.

To view the complete Feasibility Study, click here Link to Feasibility Study

Looking west at current terminal and modular holding area
Conceptual depiction of ramp side of terminal

How we got here

  • August 2007- March 2008
    A feasibility study was performed to determine the need for a new terminal, which concluded the existing terminal is far beyond its serviceable years.

  • May 6, 2008
    Voters approved $1.5 million for the design of a new terminal.

  • February 2011
    The 20 percent schematic design of the terminal was completed and is now awaiting environmental approval.

  • May 2014
    The Environmental Assessment was completed


Construction of a new terminal facility is the most flexible and cost effective means of insuring the long-term sustainability of passenger service at the Cheyenne Regional Airport.

It is important not to think of the terminal facility as simply a building. The terminal is the most visible part of a gateway to Cheyenne that serves as both the first and last impression to visitors and residents alike. click here to view a power point presentation.


Economic Impact
Cheyenne Regional Airport has been an important stimulus to the economy of Cheyenne for many years. In 1988, the airport's impact on the economy was $68.6 million (sales and earnings).

In 2000, it was $196 million.
Findings from an Economic Impact Study in 2010 showed there were:

  • $192. 7 million in local business sales
  • 2,043 jobs supported
  • $50 million in wages paid

For every dollar the Airport received from the funding of the 5th and New Terminal Project Information in 2006-2009, the Airport was able to obtain an additional $31 in federal and state grant funding.

As a result of day to day operations in 2010, over $242.7 million ($192.7 million in area sales and $50 million in wages) was injected into the local economy.
In 2000, the number of jobs supported was 1,901 and there was $43 million paid in wages.

The number of general aviation flights increased from 7,000 arrivals in 2000 to nearly 12,000 in 2009. Click here to view the 2013 Economic Impact Study.


Conceptual depiction of terminal as viewed from parking lot

Conceptual depiction of terminal lobby and second floor

Photos from the 20 percent schematic design from the $1.5 million given to the airport from the 2006-2009 5th and New Terminal Project Information.

Click here for more details on the design of the new terminal.


Is the Airport Board's request to rehabilitate the existing terminal or to construct a new terminal?

The Airport is attempting to raise funds for the construction of a new terminal. In late 2007, the Airport Board and the State of Wyoming funded a $150,000 feasibility study to look at four options to address the future concerns of terminal use at the Cheyenne Regional Airport. Those four options were:

1. Rehabilitate the existing terminal
2. Tear down the existing terminal and construct a new terminal in the existing location
3. Construct a new terminal at the location previously designated west of the Great Lakes facility
4. Evaluate other locations throughout Airport property for the construction of a new facility

Early on in the study process, it became quite clear that options one and two were simply not feasible. In theory, it is never absolutely impossible to rehabilitate a facility. However, in the case of the existing terminal, the type of deficiencies that need to be addressed cannot be solved either efficiently or completely by rehabilitation alone.
Thus, attention turned toward the construction of a new terminal. After looking at approximately four to six sites on airport property, two sites were chosen as preferred sites. The first is an adjacent location to the existing facility, only more centrally located to mitigate and eliminate parking issues and provide sufficient means for expansion ability. The second site is located immediately west of Great Lakes Airlines behind the former US Fish and Wildlife facility. Both sites provide ample room for future expansion without having to relocate and both sites mitigate proximity issues that occur as a result of increases in national security levels.

In 2008, during the last 6th Penny process, two concerns were raised referencing future impacts on the Airport's design-only request.

  • The design of the terminal carries no guarantee that a new terminal will be constructed

  • The Airport will have to come back and seek additional construction dollars

Was that always the intended course?

When the Airport Board was formed in 1981, they started with less than $50,000 in assets and were subsidized operationally through the general fund of the city. Throughout the course of the Board's existence, the ultimate goal has been and will continue to be to make the Airport as self-sustaining as possible. 2003 marked the first time in the Board's then 22–year history that they were no longer on the City's books for a general fund-operating subsidy. However, self-sustaining does not necessarily mean that an entity never needs any help, whether it be from a municipality, tenant or bank. The entity can simply operate day-to-day on its own, without any need for additional operational funding.

When it comes to significant capital development/improvement projects, the Airport continues to need financial assistance, in some cases, to move forward. One of Airport Administration's greatest strengths has always been the ability to take whatever local funding was available to them and leverage that funding to obtain additional money through Federal and State grant programs. In this way, the Airport has been one of the most efficient and effective users of city funds, at least from a total cost perspective. From 2001–2005, the Airport received somewhere in the vicinity of $600,000 in local tax dollars through both the 5th and New Terminal Project Information programs. This money was utilized to accomplish over $20 million in capital improvements. In other words, for every dollar contributed by the taxpayers of Cheyenne and Laramie County, over $30 in capital development was conducted at the Airport. While 2001–2005 were exceptional and quite above normal due to the significant runway project, that number has always been at least a 10-1 ratio.

The Airport does not ask for significant funding very often. However, when we do, it is for a need that is vital to the ongoing success and future viability of the Airport.

A modernized terminal facility is a present-day need that will only be amplified in future years.

The Airport's original request for the 2008 ballot was $8.5 million. That amount was based upon a construction cost of approximately $10 million–$11 million. However, as the size of the ballot continued to grow, Airport Officials determined it would be in the best interest of all contemplated projects to reduce the Airport's request to a design-only cost of $1.5 million, with the understanding that a second request for a portion of the construction would come during the next 6th Penny process.

What will the terminal cost?

Unlike runway and other pavement projects on an airport, the ability to determine the amount of a terminal facility eligible for Federal and State funding is far more difficult. In a nutshell, only those portions of a terminal facility that are necessary and non-revenue producing are eligible for Federal and State funding. The remaining must be funded through other means. Unfortunately, while a conceptual design is enough to get a rough idea of the cost of a new facility, it is not specific enough to determine Federally eligible percentages. As such, a complete design is necessary to truly determine what is needed from the local community.

As far as the current estimated cost goes, the two final sites have two different costs:

Site 1, the site adjacent to the existing facility, has a lower cost of approximately $10 million–$11 million. The lower cost is due to the fact that much of the infrastructure is already in place. While this was initially the preferred site for numerous reasons, further investigations revealed the site may never be feasible due to challenges in site layout and potential removal of several historical buildings.

Site 2, adjacent to Great Lakes, emerged as the likely site. This site carries an estimated cost of $16 million-$18 million due to, as mentioned above, the need to install new infrastructure, primarily in the form of pavement, which has become quite expensive.

Here is where the beauty of the design request in 2008 comes into play. Technically, a design request is fully eligible, at 98 percent of the cost, for both Federal and State funding. This means that a $1.5 million design would be funded at a rate of $1,470,000 leaving only $30,000 to be funded locally. However, if that funding package was obtained in 2008, the terminal would have to have been started in 2010, and that would have been impossible. Funding the entire design up front through local means removed the two-year restriction but did not remove eligibility. At the time the facility is ready to go to construction, assuming a reasonable time frame (i.e. less than 15 years), the $1.4 million that would have been eligible for the design will come back in the form of a pre-paid local match toward construction, thus reducing the local funding needed at that time. The design the Airport has in process would work on either site.

What is the problem with the existing terminal?

A common misconception regarding the Airport's reasoning behind constructing a new terminal is that the Airport is building a new terminal because there just isn't enough room in the existing terminal. While this is true in one area of the existing terminal, the rest of the terminal, from a size versus usage standpoint, is adequate. Unfortunately, an airport terminal is far more than simply the number of bodies that can fit in the building footprint. Here is a brief summary of why the need for a new terminal:


The Airport has ample, albeit poorly located and laid out, short-term and long-term parking for patrons of airport businesses and the airline, based on existing scheduled Denver service and existing load factors (how full the planes are on average) of 30 percent to 40 percent. However, as is quite obvious during the holidays and large charter operations, the margin to absorb any sort of increase is simply not there. During those peak times, the
Airport can quickly find itself out of parking, causing people to park in the Avenues. It's likely our community loses at least a half a dozen patrons each time this occurs as a result of inconvenience.


The existing location of the terminal facility does not provide any long-term expansion options with respect to increasing the size of the facility as it is boxed in by parking on one side and the old tower on the other. Additionally, its proximity to 8th Avenue and the insufficient parking referenced above, make it extremely challenging in the event of national security increases. To put this into perspective, restricting parking within 75 feet of the terminal would eliminate all short-term parking from consideration. Restricting parking within 300 feet of the terminal, as was done in the wake of 9/11, removes all but approximately 60 of the Airport's 250-300 spaces, as well as having an impact, in theory, on 8th Avenue.

Insufficient HVAC systems

Anyone who has spent time in the existing terminal can attest to the fact that it can get immensely hot in the summer and quite cold in the winter. Heat in the facility is provided through two circulating hot water heaters at each end of the building and there is no air-conditioning. The Airport has evaluated putting in air-conditioning. However, since the building is not vented at all, one can imagine both the challenge and the cost this poses.

Insufficient Security Holding Area

Since our terminal was built and constructed in the early 1960s, no thought was ever given to people beyond the security checkpoint since, back then, you could come and go as you please. However, as we all know, times have changed. In today's society, once you are past screening, you are either getting on the plane or you have to have a great reason for leaving security.

The original security area was able to handle approximately 30 people without the provision of either restrooms or food/beverage services. While that size was sufficient for regional turbo prop operations, it was inadequate to properly handle either small regional jet operations or larger charter operations. As a temporary solution, the Airport installed a modular building in 2010 to bridge the gap between the existing facility and a potential new facility.

Efficiency of design as a whole

The split-level design of the terminal is an immensely inefficient use of space. Airports are able to sustain terminal operations through efficient use of space. Open spaces can be filled with amenities, advertisements or other tenants. Restrooms should be centrally located to allow clear sightlines. Our terminal, while listed at 18,000 square feet is probably closer to 12,000 usable square feet simply due to inefficiency.

Another misconception is that the Airport is requesting a new terminal facility under the facade that it will lend itself to bringing in new air service. This statement could not be farther from the truth. A new terminal will not guarantee the arrival of new air service. However, an insufficient terminal can result in not only prohibiting new air service, but also the departure of existing air service due to declining passenger loads as a result of inconvenient and insufficient amenities and services.



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