Cheyenne Regional Airport
|Cheyenne Regional Airport
Jerry Olson Field
|IATA: CYS – ICAO: KCYS – FAA LID: CYS|
|Owner||Cheyenne Regional Airport Board|
|Elevation AMSL||6,160 ft / 1,878 m|
Cheyenne Regional Airport (IATA: CYS, ICAO: KCYS, FAA LID: CYS) (Jerry Olson Field) is a civil-military airport a mile north of downtown Cheyenne, in Laramie County, Wyoming. The Cheyenne Regional Airport Board owns it; it is a focus city for Great Lakes Airlines.
The air demonstration at the fairgrounds in 1911 was less than impressive, but it was the beginning of a rich aviation history.
The U.S. Post Office gave Cheyenne's aviation its first boost. With the introduction of airmail routes after World War I, the Cheyenne civic leaders lobbied to establish Cheyenne as a stop. Buck Heffron piloted the first air mail flight destined for Salt Lake City on September 9, 1920. Heffron flew a DH-4 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 was guided by a few instruments, maps and landmarks.
Cheyenne's airport saw its first paying passengers in the 1920s. The first 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 DC-3 in 1937 passengers enjoyed greater comfort and safety. Soon United 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 was a completion and modification center for B-17s. 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 known as the "Cheyenne" turret because it was invented at Cheyenne. United Airlines maintained its DC-3s at Cheyenne; in 1946 it had 1400 employees there. Until 1961 the airport was the training center for United Airlines stewardesses from across the country.
The airport was visited by Charles Lindbergh, aboard the "Spirit of St. Louis," and Amelia Earhart. Many historic events are chronicled on the walls of the airport restaurant. One of the airport's celebrated visitors is recent times is child aviator Jessica Dubroff, who lost her life when her small plane crashed after takeoff in terrible weather in April, 1996.
Because of its high altitude, aircraft manufacturers test planes at Cheyenne. The latest tests were Embraer of Brazil's ERJ-170 and 190 aircraft, Boeing's 737-900, and Boeing's 787 dreamliner.
In 2006 the airport had 65,163 aircraft operations, average 178 per day: 54% general aviation, 36% military, 10% air taxi and <1% airline. 99 aircraft are based at this airport: 35% single-engine, 38% multi-engine, 4% jet and 22% military.
Airlines and destinations
Occasional charter flights (known as "casino or gamblers' flights") go to Laughlin or Wendover, Nevada. Frontier Airlines and United Airlines use Cheyenne as a diversion for flights to Denver International Airport (DEN).
United Airlines stopped at Cheyenne until 1960; Western Airlines Boeing 737-200s ended in 1979-80. Frontier flew 737s, Convair 580s and de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters to Cheyenne . Western flew Lockheed L-188 Electras to Cheyenne in the 1960s.
Smaller airlines served Cheyenne, mainly to Denver, including Rocky Mountain Airways with de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters and DHC-7 Dash 7s. Mesa Airlines ("United Express") had Beechcraft 1900Cs and Continental Express flew 1900Cs to Cheyenne when Continental Airlines had a Denver hub.
|Great Lakes Airlines||Denver|
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|Great Lakes Airlines||
|1||Denver, CO||4,000||Great Lakes Airlines|
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 incorporates 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.
- Cheyenne Regional Airport, official web site
- FAA Airport Master Record for CYS ( PDF), effective 2007-12-20
- American Aviation 15 Oct 1946 p34
- "James Chilton, Hall of Fame inductee grew alongside aviation industry, September 26, 2013". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- "Fly Cheyenne to Dallas". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- WY: Cheyenne Regional/Jerry Olson Field&carrier=FACTS "Cheyenne, WY: Cheyenne Regional (CYS)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. December 2013. Retrieved April 2015.
- Airport website
- (PDF), effective August 20, 2015
- Resources for this airport:
- Cheyenne Airfield, 200 East Eighth Avenue, Cheyenne, Laramie, WY at the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER)
- Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne Airport, Cheyenne, Laramie, WY at HAER, also , , ,  at HAER