Cedar City, UT Airport, Operated by Delta Airlines!

Cedar City Airport (CDC) is an incredibly unique airport. Located just a couple of hours north of Las Vegas, the CDC airport has only 1 airline, only 1 destination, only 1 gate, only 1 checkin counter, and only 1 operator. That operator would be Delta Airlines.

Cedar City Airport is funded and subsidized (yea, you heard me right, subsidized) by the Essential Air Service program from the US Government. Do you remember many moons ago when Delta was making a huge fuss about how the Middle East airlines get millions in subsidies from their governments? Convenient that they forgot about how they also, for all intents and purposes, own and operate this entire airport.

CDC Cedar City Airport

We rolled up to the airport and parked in the rental car parking lot, just off to the left hand side of the terminal.

Cedar City Airport Parking Lot

There was no one there to take our car keys, considering that Enterprise Rent a Car doesn’t work on Saturday or Sunday. We dropped off the keys in the box, wrote down the mileage, and came in to the airport.

Cedar City Lobby

Before we headed in, we noticed the curious hours of operation sign on the door. Just check it out.

Cedar City, Operated by Delta

Open 8-630 M-F, and then for 2 hours on Saturday and 2 hours on Sunday. Just enough to service the one and only flight to and from Salt Lake City.

Just past the entrance is the baggage claim door. Why bother having a carousel when you can just roll up the metal gate and throw the bags onto the mat?

Cedar City Baggage Claim

We walked all the way down to the one checkin counter. I love that there is a Sky Priority line when … in reality … there are all of 36 people checking in for the flight.

Cedar City Sky Priority

Time from walking in to check in finishing was 90 seconds.

We walked the long 20 feet to the Security Check, but not before we were greeted with a VERY scary sign. Look out Cedar City, you’re on the FRONT LINES OF TERRORISM PROTECTION!


Hungry? How about the hospital cafeteria vending area with 1997 Magic Chef microwave?

Cedar City Vending

Cedar City Vending

Before heading to security you can check out how Cedar City, the Festival City, throws a party!

Cedar City Festivals

Check out the security line – 5 people deep, quite the backlog!

Cedar City Security

Once you made it through TSA security (by the way Pre Check didn’t exist, but we were allowed to keep our shoes on) you dump into the holding pen.

Waiting at the Gate

And just like that, you could hear the plane approaching down the runway. Don’t be concerned with any jetbridge, we’ll just open up the door and let y’all walk out onto the tarmac.

Cedar City Tarmac

And with that, we were on our 42 minute flight to Salt Lake City.

Cedar City Tarmac

I’m not sure how to react to Cedar City. One one hand, I think it’s awesome that there’s an airport with service to Salt Lake City. On the other hand, St George is about a 30 minute drive south and there are multiple destinations and multiple airlines that service this. Why is it necessary for one airline (Delta) to be paid subsidies to run flights and, for all intents and purposes, this airport? I’m sure it’s incredibly useful for people living in Cedar City (population 31,200) but couldn’t they also just drive 30 minutes to St George?

Seems to me like Delta shouldn’t be complaining much about government subsidies when it’s quite obvious that government subsidies are the only thing keeping this airport alive.

Has anyone else ever visited an Essential Air Service airport?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. I love small airports and fly into many due to my job. Nice review but I don’t really compare rural airport subsidies to middle east airline subsidies.

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  2. I don’t think you have any idea what you’re writing about. EAS airports, in nearly every case, are unprofitable ventures for the airlines that serve them even after the subsidy. This isn’t about subsidizing DL, its about providing what local or federal officials deemed as a vital, or essential, service to the community. Also, while I’m sure you’re trying to be funny with your snarky comments, to me it reads as someone who has never traveled through a small airport before. Its just condescending. Also, DL doesn’t own the airport. But don’t let facts get in the way here.

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    • I’ll point out a couple of things here, because while I’m not an EAS expert, I would like to think I do have an idea of what I’m writing about. Regardless of whether or not this is vital or essential, I do point out that St George is a short drive away, serviced by three airlines, and has 9 flights a day. St George has only 1. I also note that it’s not owned by Delta, but I would argue that it is indeed operated by them, hence the hours of operation are only around the Delta flights. The airport is not publicly operated outside of those times. Growing up in small town Michigan I am very familiar with small town airports. It is also 100% about the government subsidizing a US airline, which is what the big three airlines don’t want the Mid East airlines to do. Also, snark is kind of what we do here at No Mas Coach… I hope you’ll check out our other posts 🙂

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  3. At least it did appear to be a clean airport, but then it’s tough to get the carpet too dirty without a lot of foot traffic. 🙂

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  1. I just flew on a Delta Airlines Government Subsidized Flight! | No Mas Coach! - […] short while ago we wrote about how we visited the Cedar City airport in Utah, which for all intents…

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