Airport Hits Passenger Record

When Wyoming resident Kay Steers boarded the Prescott to Denver commercial flight on Dec. 30, she set the record — the 10,000th passenger to embark from the local airport in a single year. More important, Steers’ enplanement triggered the tipping point for the City of Prescott to qualify for more federal grant money, including funds to help construct a new airport terminal.

Federal funding will now increase from $150,000 annually to $1 million. In addition, the City will now qualify to get a new terminal in the current grant cycle, says Airport Director Robin Sobotta.

Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli has indicated that ground-breaking for the new terminal will occur sometime in September and expects more than 25,000 passengers will fly out of Prescott Municipal Airport during 2019. That estimate is based on current passenger trends.

Commercial flights are offered through SkyWest Airlines operating as United Express. Presently, passengers can fly nonstop round-trip jet service from Prescott to¬ Los Angles or to Denver seven days a week.

According to Sobotta, the City is moving ahead with planning for the first phase of the new terminal. The Prescott City Council has approved sending a schematic design for the terminal to the Federal Aviation Authority and has discussed allotting $3.5 million of reserve funds into terminal costs. The new terminal, projected to be 18,000 square feet, is estimated to cost about $.6.5 million. Infrastructure costs and other fees likely will take that amount to about $11 million.

Local architect Michael Taylor is working with Dibble Engineering in planning the project with hopes to design the new single-story terminal with high ceilings and large windows looking east toward Mingus Mountain. Also under consideration is converting a portion of the existing terminal to a full-service restaurant.