Local airports seeing number take off - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Local airports seeing number take off

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Wheels are up in Central Illinois as more and more of you are taking flight. The numbers show that our local airports are thriving so far in 2018. 

A new report from the Peoria International Airport finds June broke the record for most passengers ever.  Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) is also growing but at a fraction of Peorias rate. Not only was June a record breaking month for Peoria's airport, ticket sales have been taking off here all year./  

Peoria's airport director, Gene Olson, says in June alone there were just under 65-thousand passengers. "Every airline was up in terms of the number of passengers they carried," Olson said.  "We added flights to Charlotte, North Carolina and we added flights to Destin Florida.

There is a chance folks could find cheaper flights by traveling three house to Chicago.  However, people are still flying out of Peoria, even though it costs more. 

According to Olson, "You're not going to have a huge traffic jam from here to get home.  Security lines are shorter and it is easier to get through."

Th same is true over in Twin Cities.  While CIRA hasn't broken any records, their Assistant Marketing Director, Fran Stebing, says the number of passengers is up 2 percent. 

"The convenience of traveling locally is so important.  Less traffic hassles, we have lots of free parking," Stebing said. On top of that, CIRA plans to add even more services. 

"We have Frontier Airlines coming," Stebing said. "We've got a facility that can handle it and so we plan on seeing more people that will be going to Denver and Orlando International."

Asking passengers, the number one answer for flying out of Peoria is time. 

Julia Hutchingson, a former Peoria resident said, "Well it's always really convenient. Its close to where we live, there's free parking which id great and its just easy to get in and out of." 

"Well it's always really convenient. its close to where we live. There's free parking which id great and its just easy to get in and out of," Hutchingson said. 

Maggie Dexter a  Peoria resident, prefers to fly local.  "Waiting times with the crowd, It is just easier to get in and out," Dexter said. 

100 percent of people asked said they would pay a few dollars to fly locally than go through the hassle of a major airport.  

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