Vernal Regional Airport
|Vernal Regional Airport
Vernal - Uintah County Airport
|Owner||Uintah County & Vernal City|
|Elevation AMSL||5,278 ft / 1,609 m|
Vernal Regional Airport (IATA: VEL, ICAO: KVEL, FAA LID: VEL) is a mile southeast of Vernal, in Uintah County, Utah. It is owned by the city and county and sees one airline, subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.
Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 5,474 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 3,805 in 2009 and 4,461 in 2010. The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a non-primary commercial service airport (between 2,500 and 10,000 enplanements per year).
The original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) served Vernal for over 30 years. In 1950, Frontier was operating Douglas DC-3 flights from the airport with nonstop service to Salt Lake City and Rock Springs as well as direct, no change of plane service to Denver, Billings, Casper, Laramie and Cheyenne. By 1967, Frontier was serving Vernal with Convair 580 turboprops with nonstop flights to Salt Lake City and direct flights to Denver. At this same time, Frontier was operating a Convair 580 "milk run" flight with a routing of Salt Lake City-Vernal-Moab-Grand Junction-Farmington-Gallup-Albuquerque-Silver City-Tucson-Phoenix. Frontier was still serving Vernal during the late 1970s and early 1980s with Convair 580 flights nonstop to Salt Lake City and direct to Denver; however, as Frontier then began to transition to an all-jet fleet, service to Vernal had been discontinued by 1982. Prior to Frontier's service, a Challenger Airlines 1948 route map depicted Vernal as a proposed destination with service to Salt Lake City. In 1950, Challenger merged with Arizona Airways and Monarch Airlines to form Frontier Airlines which then in turn began service that year to Vernal.
A number of commuter airlines also served Vernal over the years. In 1979, Transwestern Airlines was competing with Frontier on the Salt Lake City route with Piper Aircraft twin prop airplanes. Salmon Air operated nonstop service as well to Salt Lake City at one point. By 1983, Air Link Airlines was operating direct, one stop flights to Denver via Hayden, CO or Rock Springs, WY with Swearingen Metroliner turboprops. In 1985, SkyWest Airlines was operating Swearingen Metroliner propjets nonstop to Salt Lake City (SLC) as an independent air carrier. By 1987, SkyWest was flying Metroliner propjet service nonstop to SLC as Western Express via a code share feeder agreement with Western Airlines. In 1989, SkyWest had become a Delta Connection air carrier operating code share feeder service for Delta Air Lines and was continuing to operate nonstop Metroliner service to Salt Lake City. Air Midwest, a subsidiary of Mesa Airlines which operated service to Vernal as America West Express, commenced nonstop flights to Salt Lake City International Airport on July 2, 2006. In January 2008, Great Lakes Aviation replaced Air Midwest and began operating Beechcraft 1900D turboprop flights to Denver and on December 5, 2011, Great Lakes began service to Canyonlands Field in Moab, Utah as an extension of its Denver service. However, Great Lakes Airlines subsequently ended its flights to Denver and ceased all service to Vernal.
In 2011 the airport had 8,960 aircraft operations, average 24 per day: 84% general aviation and 16% air taxi. 36 aircraft were then based at the airport: 64% single-engine, 22% ultralight, 11% multi-engine, and 3% helicopter.
Airlines and destinations
|Boutique Air||Denver, Salt Lake City|
- FAA Airport Master Record for VEL ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 31, 2012.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on September 27, 2012.
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Nov. 1, 1950 Frontier Airlines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Oct. 29, 1967 Frontier Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, March 2, 1977 Frontier Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 1, 1981 Frontier Airlines route map
- http://www.departedflights.com, May 1, 1982 Frontier Airlines route map
- http://www.departedflights.com, Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Vernal to Salt Lake City flight schedules
- http://www.timetableimages.com, April 1, 1983 Air Link Airline system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Vernal to Salt Lake City flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, March 1, 1987 Western Airlines system timetable & route map
- http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Vernal to Salt Lake City flight schedules
- Mesa Air Group Announces Schedule and Fares for Vernal, Utah (May 22, 2006)
- "Great Lakes Aviation lands Vernal airport contract". Vernal Express. October 10, 2007.
- Aerial image as of July 1997 from USGS The National Map
- FAA Terminal Procedures for VEL, effective June 22, 2017
- Resources for this airport: