Casper-Natrona County International Airport learned Tuesday it will receive a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The grant comes from the DOT’s Small Community Air Service Development Program, which aims to help smaller airports by providing funds to combat higher airfares. The program also aims to better market airports with limited air service and to improve poor facilities at smaller regional airports.

Airport manager Glenn Januska says the money will go toward strengthening Casper-Natrona County International Airport’s route map by better marketing the airport. Januska says reasonable targets for CPR include adding additional flight frequency from Casper to Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport and establishing new jet service from Casper to Salt Lake City International Airport and Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport.

Januska said “it will help provide marketing funds that could help us get Phoenix service established or Mesa service established if a carrier like Allegiant wanted to start service into the Phoenix-Mesa market.”

Januska also says research will be important to establish a strong future for Casper’s airport.

He added, “we do a lot of the work airlines used to do when they had bigger staff. “We can look at how many passengers currently fly to Phoenix, we can look at how many passengers drive to another airport and have a pretty good idea as to whether the service will be sustainable.”

Januska says load factors at Casper-Natrona County International Airport have increased 25 percent in July of this year compared to July of 2011.

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