Cheyenne Regional Airport
|Cheyenne Regional Airport
Jerry Olson Field
|IATA: CYS – ICAO: KCYS – FAA LID: CYS|
|Owner||Cheyenne Regional Airport Board|
|Elevation AMSL||6,159 ft / 1,878 m|
|Sources: airport web site and FAA|
Cheyenne Regional Airport (IATA: CYS, ICAO: KCYS, FAA LID: CYS), also known as Jerry Olson Field, is a civil-military public airport one mile (1.6 km) north of downtown Cheyenne, in Laramie County, Wyoming. It is owned by the Cheyenne Regional Airport Board. Cheyenne Regional Airport is a focus city for Great Lakes Airlines.
In 1911 Cheyenne entered the world of aviation. While the air demonstration at the fairgrounds that year was less than impressive, it marked the beginning of a rich aviation history. Through the years, the Cheyenne Airport would not only impact the city's economy, but its cultural history, and the whole nation.
It was the U.S. Post Office that gave Cheyenne's fledgling aviation efforts its first boost. With the introduction of airmail routes following World War I, the Cheyenne civic leaders lobbied to establish Cheyenne as a cross country site. Buck Heffron piloted the first air mail flight destined for Salt Lake City on September 9, 1920 . Heffron flew a DH-4, an aircraft that could barely get high enough to clear the mountains and had a maximum speed of 100 mph (160 km/h). The pilot was one of the brave aviators who took off on daring flights guided by limited instruments, landmarks and a few maps.
Cheyenne's airport saw its first commercial passengers in the 1920s. This first passenger was Elizabeth Brown, a female barber. She enjoyed a ride with World War I pilot, C.A. McKenzie, in a Curtis Oriole biplane. With the step up to the impressive DC-3 in 1937 passengers enjoyed greater comfort and safety. Soon DC-3s were flying Cheyenne passengers to both coasts and south to Denver.
The Boeing/United Airlines Terminal Building, Hangar and Fountain, built for what would become United Airlines between 1929 and 1934, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
During World War II the airport served as a completion and modification center for B-17 aircraft. Captain Ralph S. Johnson was a test pilot for the then United States Army Air Corps, forerunner to the Air Force. The tail turret on the B-17 is also known as the "Cheyenne" turret because it was invented at the Cheyenne airport. Until 1961 the airport also housed the training center where United Airlines stewardesses came from across the country to train.
The airport had its share of celebrated visitors. Among those illustrious aviators to touch down on its runways were Charles Lindbergh, aboard the famous "Spirit of St. Louis," and Amelia Earhart. Many of the airport's rich historic events are chronicled in fascinating display on the walls inside the airport restaurant.
Because of its high altitude, major aircraft manufacturers test their planes at Cheyenne. The latest test planes were Embraer of Brazil's ERJ-170 and 190 aircraft, Boeing's 737-900, and Boeing's 787 dreamliner.
Facilities and aircraft 
In 2006 the airport had 65,163 aircraft operations, an average of 178 per day: 54% general aviation, 36% military, 10% air taxi and <1% scheduled commercial. There are 99 aircraft based at this airport: 35% single-engine, 38% multi-engine, 4% jet and 22% military.
Airlines and destinations 
Cheyenne Regional Airport is currently served by Great Lakes Airlines which operates independently using its own identity, and also flies as well as a codeshare partner for United Airlines and Frontier Airlines. Great Lakes currently operates 19-passenger Beechcraft 1900D turboprop aircraft into Cheyenne.
American Eagle,  flying on behalf of American Airlines, initiated nonstop service to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on July 15, 2010 but discontinued this service on April 3, 2012. American Eagle was operating Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet aircraft on these flights.
In addition to the above listed scheduled service, occasional charter flights (known as "casino or gamblers' flights") to Laughlin or Wendover, Nevada are offered. United Airlines also heavily relies on the Cheyenne Regional Airport as a diversion airfield for its flights to Denver International Airport (DEN) when weather and other factors affect operations at this United hub.
|Great Lakes Airlines||Denver, Worland|
Historically, in years past Cheyenne had scheduled passenger service operated with mainline jet aircraft by several air carriers including the original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) and Western Airlines. Both airlines operated Boeing 737-200 jetliners into the airport. Besides operating 737 jet aircraft, the original Frontier Airlines also served Cheyenne with Convair 580 and de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprop aircraft. Prior to initiating 737 jet service, Western served the airport with Lockheed L-188 Electra four engine turboprop airliners.
Smaller airlines served Cheyenne as well over the years primarily with flights to Denver, including Rocky Mountain Airways which operated de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter and DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprop aircraft. Mesa Airlines also flew from the airport operating as United Express with Beechcraft 1900C turboprops. In addition, Continental Express served Cheyenne with Beechcraft 1900C turboprops when Continental Airlines was operating a connecting hub in Denver.
Cheyenne Air National Guard Base 
Cheyenne ANGB occupies approximately 77 acres of leased land on the Cheyenne Regional Airport. The host wing is the 153d Airlift Wing (153 AW) of the Wyoming Air National Guard, flying the C-130 Hercules theater airlift aircraft. The 153 AW is operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC), and given its proximity to F. E. Warren AFB, was chosen as the first "Active-Associate" unit in the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard. As an Active-Associate unit, the 153 AW incoporates both a traditional Air National Guard C-130 airlift squadron, the 187th Airlift Squadron (187 AS), and a full-time active duty Regular Air Force C-130 airlift squadron, the 30th Airlift Squadron (30 AS). Both squadrons share the same C-130H aircraft.
Incidents and Accidents 
On April 11, 1996, 7 year old Jessica Dubroff, along with her father and flight instructor, died when her general aviation aircraft crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne Regional in a storm. Dubroff was attempting to be the youngest person to fly across the United States.
See also 
- Cheyenne Regional Airport, official web site
- FAA Airport Master Record for CYS ( PDF), effective 2007-12-20
- "Fly Cheyenne to Dallas". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Airport website
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: