January 17, 2013
By Jim Moore
As intergalactic spaceports go, this is more of a dirt strip, but that may soon change. The City Council of Green River, Wyo., has voted to form a task force to study the feasibility of building facilities at Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport, which for years has welcomed hunters, mosquito sprayers, and any aliens willing to brave 5,800 feet of dirt runway. Beyond the somewhat-less-than-flat runway (which gets graded occasionally) and a parking area, there’s not much else around to greet the hunters and mosquito sprayers who make occasional visits.
There’s certainly no avgas, or other types of fuel (Jet A, mogas, or whatever it is that fuels alien spacecraft). Establishing the task force is the first step toward securing FAA grants that could cover 90 percent or more of the cost of improvements, and a step that local officials hope will one day translate into millions of dollars in economic benefit, reports the Green River Star .
One of the task force volunteers noted that their spaceport’s selection by AOPA Pilot as one of the nation’s quirkiest airports—No. 1, in fact, in February 2011—provides a good head start on publicity.
A 2009 study by the Wyoming Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division calculated that the state’s nine smallest airports collectively generate $14.5 million in economic activity each year, ranging as high as $3.5 million for Pine Bluffs Municipal Airport. The state is now working on an update of that study, though Green River officials, to their credit, required no additional convincing.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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