Halliburton Cancels Local Flights; Aspen Medical Shows Airport Interest

Halliburton Cancels Local Flights; Aspen Medical Shows Airport Interest

Halliburton facility near Rock Springs.

SWEETWATER COUNTY – While development at the Rock Springs/Sweetwater County Airport is heating up, the board also got a bit of bad news on Wednesday as Haliburton canceles local flights.

At the board’s regular monthly meeting, Airport Manager Devon Brubaker gave the board information on a couple of recent developments at the airport involving local area businesses.

For the past month, Brubaker, along with Shannon Lucero, Airport Business Manager, and different board members have been presenting future construction plans.

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Most recently, they presented to the Sweetwater County Commissioners, Rock Springs City Council and the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.

In the presentation, Brubaker discussed future development in general aviation including a new hanger and new terminal. Brubaker explained to the board that, after a recent presentation, the folks at Aspen Mountain Health pulled him aside and spoke with him. Aspen Mountain Health is the group building the private hospital on College Drive.

Brubaker said they “were very interested” in a possible development at the airport which would go along with some of the new developments planned at the airport in the future.

Halliburton Cancels Local Flights

On the downside, Brubaker said that due to local layoffs at Haliburton, the company has terminated their charter flights to the airport. They included the Monday flight and the flight that would come in every other Tuesday. Brubaker said they were optimistic that the flights will be back once the economy turns around.

After getting the news of the changes, Brubaker looked at the economic impacts the cancellation of these flights will have.

First, Brubaker said it was not a shock this was going to happen. He explained Halliburton’s use of the airport had been decreasing, starting before he took over as manager.

Fuel Sales

He then looked at other revenue streams, with the big one being fuel sales. The airport continues to see growth in the fuel sales. They recently set the best September fuel sales on record. On the Jet A side, fuel sales hit 4,800 gallons. He said that is 3,000 more than the airport was doing in past comparisons.

Brubaker said they had the best five-month stretch of fuel sales on record at the airport. With the jump in fuel sales, Brubaker said the loss of the Halliburton flights should have a minimal impact at the airport.

Along with the fuel numbers given, Brad Radakovich, the accountant at the airport, opened the meeting on a positive note. He reported the airport’s gross profit margin on fuel hit 33 percent. He said most airports are very happy to hit 30 percent. Radakovich said he believes this is the highest it has ever been at the airport.

Brubaker did inform the board that next month’s percentage would drop to about 28 percent. He explained to the board there was a fuel invoice missed in 2013 which they recently were able to clean up. Overall, there were three invoices in question, but Brubaker said the airport could prove the other two had been taken care of.

Even with the drop next month, Brubaker said he is confident they will end the year with a 33 percent to 35 percent margin.