May 19, 2017 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff WriterUnder the plan, Riverton will get the money back next year.
The Riverton City Council has authorized city staff to allow the transfer of $350,000 federal dollars belonging to Riverton Regional Airport to Rock Springs Sweetwater County Airport.
The "entitlement funds" were awarded to Riverton Regional to help pay for improvements projects.
The airport qualifies for $1 million in entitlement funds if it records 10,000 enplanements or more for a year. If it falls short of that figure the airport is eligible to receive $150,000.
Rock Springs will return the money to Riverton in the next fiscal year, using allocated funds.
Riverton public works director Kyle Butterfield said Rock Springs is taking on a significant capital project this upcoming year and is in need of the money.
"When entitlement funds exceed the capital needs of an airport, they may be transferred to another airport," Butterfield said. "We don't have to use all the funds."
The Federal Aviation Administration asked Riverton to waive its excess allocation and allow for the transfer because Riverton won't utilize all of its allocated entitlement funds in the coming fiscal year.
Butterfield noted that Riverton has not met the 10,000 enplanement threshold since 2013, but the U.S. Congress enabled a special appropriation of entitlement funds to the city of $1 million which was limited to fiscal year 2017.
The city's budget will not be impacted by this transfer, he confirmed, because waived funds are not tied to current capital improvements and won't affect the budget for the Riverton airport.
The FAA's Airport Improvement Program provides grants for the planning and development of publicly used airports, Butterfield said. The grants are issued as entitlement funds. AIP grants are made available only to airports that participate in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.
NPIAS serves as an asset inventory and capital improvement plan for airports that are significant to the national air transportation network, Butterfield explained.
The Riverton airport participates in the NPIAS program through the Wyoming Aviation Capital Improvement Program, he continued. WACIP establishes the asset and capital needs for the Riverton airport and prioritizes the funds available for those needs.
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