In Case You Missed It: Cheyenne Chamber Of Commerce President Says Wyoming Needs Direct Flights To Washington, D.C., Praises State’s Congressional Delegation For Leadership And Support
“The Direct Capital Access Act would help strengthen connectivity to our nation’s capital, including from western states like Wyoming that currently suffer from a distinct lack of access.”
-Dale Steenbergen, President and CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce
In case you missed it, in a recent op-ed published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Dale Steenbergen, president and CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, highlights Wyoming’s limited access to Washington, D.C. and commends Wyoming’s congressional delegation for leading bipartisan legislation, The Direct Capital Access Act (The DCA Act), to improve connectivity to the nation’s capital.
Steenbergen writes that Wyoming residents face increased costs and travel time due to the lack of direct flights to Washington, D.C., affecting military leaders, policymakers and families. He emphasizes the potential benefits of more flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), stating that, “Allowing more flights into and out of the Washington, D.C. area will help bring down airfares through increased competition and help reduce layovers and connections for Wyoming leaders and Wyoming families traveling to our nation’s capital.”
He also notes that existing flights would not be eliminated under the proposed legislation and that more flights to the east coast means more flights from the east coast, helping to boost tourism and revenue for Wyoming.
Read the full op-ed HERE and below:
Wyoming Needs A Direct Flight To The Nation’s Capital
Wyoming Tribune Eagle (Op-ed)
July 8, 2023
Here’s something you might not know.
There are zero direct commercial airline flights from the entire state of Wyoming to Washington, D.C.
Offhand, this may not sound like a very big deal, but it’s actually quite important. Our state needs stronger air transportation access to our nation’s capital.
Wyoming’s business and industry leaders need to be able to educate legislators and regulators about how federal policies impact our state. Wyoming’s state political leaders need to be able to make sure our interests are adequately represented at the federal level. Wyoming’s military leadership from F.E. Warren Air Force Base must travel frequently to Washington, D.C. to conduct important military business. And frankly, Wyoming students and families should not have to break the bank when visiting our nation’s capital for field trips and vacations.
Thankfully, there is bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the United States Congress — H.R. 3185, The Direct Capital Access Act — which would allow adding 28 new direct flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The Direct Capital Access Act would help strengthen connectivity to our nation’s capital, including from western states like Wyoming that currently suffer from a distinct lack of access. The legislation would also help increase options out of nearby airports like Denver International.
In the case of DCA, this is a problem for Congress to solve. DCA is overseen by Congress and is specifically subject to federal regulations that do not apply to any other airport.
Since 1966, DCA has been constrained by a federal perimeter rule instituted by Congress, which limits the number of flights that can land or take off there each day beyond a 1,250-mile radius.
As you can imagine, this arbitrary perimeter is particularly damaging to states like Wyoming. Lack of flight options means higher prices and lengthy travel time.
The good news is that Congress can pass the Direct Capital Access Act this year as an amendment to the once-every-five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. Congresswoman Harriet Hageman has already lent her support to the legislation in the House, and Sen. Cynthia Lummis is leading the legislation in the Senate.
There have been some claims that the legislation might somehow jeopardize air travel at smaller airports. Those claims are categorically not true. The legislation only authorizes additional flights. It does not eliminate any existing flights.
Allowing more flights into and out of the Washington, D.C. area will help bring down airfares through increased competition and help reduce layovers and connections for Wyoming leaders and Wyoming families traveling to our nation’s capital.
And let’s not forget, more flights to the East Coast would also mean more flights from the East Coast. That means more tourism and more revenue for Wyoming, as our fellow Americans could more easily travel to our state’s beautiful national parks, world-class skiing, abundant outdoor recreation and unmatched sight-seeing.
Our state’s congressional delegation should be commended for leading the Direct Capital Access Act, a simple, bipartisan measure to help the traveling public by reducing federal intrusion at one of America’s most crucial airports. Let’s hope other state delegations follow suit.
Dale Steenbergen is president and CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce.
CAA consists of diverse members from around the country and various industries, including transportation, general business groups, the small business sector, entrepreneurs and job creators, organizations focused on economic development and leaders in the civic and policy communities.
Learn more about Capital Access Alliance HERE.