Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport officials cut the ribbon July 18, on a new $5.8 million General Aviation facility powered in part by a solar project provided by Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky customers.
The new state of the art facility will house the operations of the airport owned Fixed Base Operator (FBO), Sweetwater Aviation.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony, held for the new facility, marks the completion of just another improvement in the multi-phased airport capital plan. Future projects will include taxiway relocations, commercial terminal modernization & expansion, as well as private non-aeronautical and aeronautical development.
“Sweetwater County is an attractive location for many different industries and businesses — we have a lot to offer,” said Devon Brubaker, airport director. “The availability and quality of air transportation service is an important factor in firms’ decisions on where they will locate operations. The new facility is a key component of the community and regional economic development tool kit.”
Local leaders and economic development professionals say improvements to the Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport like this will make it easier for companies to conduct business in Southwest Wyoming.
The new facility is supported by the first solar array at an airport in Wyoming. The 30-kilowatt solar array was made possible by a $94,216 grant from Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky customers. To date, the solar array has provided over 70 percent of the electricity needed to operate the new facility and the airport’s fire house.
“This new facility will help support industry and economic development in the region for decades to come,” said Rita Meyer, Rocky Mountain Power vice president. “We thank our Blue Sky customers for supporting such an important project.”
The 30,000 square-foot hangar and terminal complex was built to support the airport’s general aviation customers and local industries in ways that the previous 90-year-old facility could not. The new hangar alone provides nearly 25,000 square feet of aircraft storage space capable of supporting aircraft as large the Global Express 7500, Gulfstream 650, and numerous other large cabin business jets. The nearly 5,000 square foot terminal includes a passenger lobby, pilot’s lounge, pilot quiet rooms, workout space, a professional golf simulator, conference rooms, and office space.
“The delivery of a project of this magnitude is not possible without the support of numerous entities. More specifically, this project received substantial funding support from the Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Department of Transportation, and Federal Aviation Administration,” said Brubaker. Furthermore, this project was successful in large part because of the design and construction teams that
included Airport Development Group (Engineer), Van Sant Group (Architect), and A Pleasant Construction (General Contractor).