Thursday, December 7, 2017

Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport (KRKS) name change proposed

Deciding whether or not to change the airport’s name to something more regional was a topic of discussion the Sweetwater County Commissioners weren’t ready to make a decision on just yet.

During the commissioners meeting Tuesday morning, Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport manager Devon Brubaker addressed the commissioners about changing the airport’s name to Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport.

“As the commission is well aware, we as an airport have been making significant strides to market our airport, not just regionally for commercial air service, but nationally and internationally for general aviation,” Brubaker said.

General aviation provides 90 percent of the airport’s revenue and the airport is focusing heavily on that.

“Also, in an effort to recognize the regional impact of our airport we are discussing and contemplating the idea of a change of name for the airport,” Brubaker said. “One of the suggestions and the one that we’ve been talking about is Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport. And the reason for this name change, like I’ve said, is purely marketing.”

It allows the airport to be inclusive of the surrounding counties, including Lincoln, Carbon, Sublette and Uinta counties. These counties either already contribute to the passenger numbers or have the potential to, he said.

“Currently, we sound very municipal. We sound very small. We do not sound regional. We do not sound like we have as big of an impact as we do,” Brubaker said.

As a pilot looking at the names on a list of paper, the pilot would assume that this is a facility that doesn’t have nice facilities or runways and that’s not the case at all, he said.

Brubaker said they are reaching out to the County Commissioners and the Rock Springs City Council for the Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport Joint Powers Board to see what they think about the name change.

Brubaker said they are really trying to reach a regional market and changing the name is a way to market the airport as a regional airport.

“We have a lot of passengers drive right past us to go to Salt Lake (City),...) Brubaker said.

This name change isn’t being taken lightly, Brubaker said he has been working through the idea over the past two years. The reason he’s asking now, is he’s getting ready to attend the world’s largest conference for aircraft schedulers and dispatchers in February.

“It is my goal to go into that with the new airport name so we can introduce the airport and the FBO (Fixed Base Operator) to the world, if you will,” Brubaker said. “I don’t want to go in there and have spent all of this money on marketing and having a group there and everything and have a different name then what we’ll have a month later. It just defeats the purpose.”

Commission Chairman Reid West said both the Sweetwater County Commissioners and the Rock Springs City Council would have to approve a name change.

Commissioner Wally Johnson said he thinks it’s a good idea, but he’s reluctant to take any action on it now.

He wanted time to think about it. West agreed with Johnson on needing time to consider it.

Commissioner Randy Wendling said if changing the name is a step needed to make the airport become more self sufficient, he wouldn’t have a problem with it.

Commissioner Don Van Matre wanted the to make sure everything needed to have the name change was done right the first time and if that means taking longer to do it, then that’s what will need to be done.

With guidance from the board, Brubaker said he would recommend the Airport Board pursue the name change.

Original article can be found here ➤

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