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Cheyenne Regional Airport running behind on runway reconstruction project due to nationwide supply and workforce shortages

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The nationwide workforce and supply shortage is affecting even the largest of public works projects, like the Cheyenne Regional Airport’s runway reconstruction.

“We do have a delay in our runway project and unfortunately, we had planned to have the runway open by this time this year, but the reason it has been delayed is because of the supply chain issues, not just here in Wyoming but across the United States,” said Tim Barth, Director of Aviation for Cheyenne Regional Airport.

There has been a worldwide shortage of the concrete mix specified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for these projects. The shortage has led to delays on the completion of the project, which causes a domino effect on the day-to-day operations.

Barth said although the situation is less than ideal, it’s essentially what is to be expected following a global pandemic.

“Just yesterday, we were notified that we will be on concrete rationing so we will be able to do about 500 to 1,000 yards a night. Our project will be delayed until probably the end of September; we know it hurts the community from an economic standpoint, but coming out of Covid, this is probably the best that we are going to get. If the nation goes into lockdown again with the up-tick of Covid numbers, we can probably expect some more delays,” said Barth.

The concrete is not the only obstacle slowing down construction. Barth says the labor shortage is prompting a severe lack of rail operators, truck drivers, and construction workers to relay the materials to the airport.

Although commercial flights are not immediately available, the airport is able to perform essential operations in the meantime.

“So for operations right now, we will be without air service until that time. Fortunately, we are able to continue with the Air Guard mission which is critical to our national defense, and we are able to keep our General Aviation and Business Operations open. The only thing we are really missing right now is our commercial service component on United Airlines; but like I said, we will have that restored in time for the holidays.”

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