If the skies over Scottsbluff seemed to be filled with large, commercial aircraft Friday, that’s because a total of eight airliners were diverted to Western Nebraska Regional Airport because of poor weather conditions in Denver.
Airport Manager Darwin Skelton says the airport benefits in many ways from the diversion flights, even though they do not count toward their 10,000 required annual boardings to gain Federal improvement funds. Skelton says of the eight aircraft that were diverted to Scottsbluff Friday, only one was on the ground long enough to actually de-board passengers.
He says they get landing fees and D.R.O. fees, and when Valley Airways fuels them, the airport receives a fuel flow fee from that.
He says that is one of the reasons they fight so hard to keep their runway lengths what they are and the airport what it is, so they can continue to get diversion flights as well as casino charters.
Skelton notes the airport just had their annual Federal inspection last week, and received no discrepancies for the fourth year in a row.