Governor Matt Mead addressed the 11th Annual Airline Rendezvous held in Jackson Hole last night, telling them how important their service to the state is and how much it is appreciated. Governor Mead explained that his comments to the group were prompted by the influence of air transportation on not only tourism, but other industries in the state’s economy as well. Mead says, “If you look at Wyoming and what’s going on: our low unemployment, our conservative approach in terms of money, money we have in savings, our economy generally – not just oil and gas, but we were recently rated as the second best state in terms of emerging data centers (Cheyenne was rated as the tenth best city in the country in terms of emerging technology – new technology) and you see that around the state. So my message to them is ‘listen; we’re betting on the airline industry. It’s important to tourism, but it’s important for the economy generally.” Mead says since air service to the state has seen its recent enhancement, business has taken off with air passenger numbers increasing by 36% statewide compared with 9% for the nation. That, he points out is a great return for their investment. However, Mead says such service also needs support to succeed. He says you need support, first on the local level and then on the state level because you are in competition for that air service. Furthermore, he says that support needs to be consistent and predictable. Mead says the airlines have seen the state’s support in his budget and he promises they will see it again in his budget this year.