MOLINE, Ill. — An airport in western Illinois is launching an initiative to encourage area businesses along the Illinois-Iowa border to prioritize flying local.

The Fly Local Alliance program comes as the Quad-City International Airport in Moline works to increase its passenger numbers, the Quad-City Times reported . The airport is looking for ways to dissuade area travelers from choosing airports in Chicago or elsewhere.

“We are actively trying to grow this airport,” said Dave Heller, chairman of the Air Service Committee. “The only way we can do it successfully is for people who live, work in the Quad-Cities and choose air travel to choose to fly out of the Quad-City airport.”

Airport officials said participating companies won’t pay a membership fee. Member benefits for endorsing the alliance include access to the airport’s business lounge and on-site meeting rooms.

In exchange, companies promise to communicate with airport officials about their travel spending. Businesses will also be asked to share a customer satisfaction survey and trip cost calculator tool with employees.

“This is more opportunity to receive feedback,” said Cathie Rochau, the airport’s marketing representative. “That’s where we may hear things that are important to people, but may not be related to the flight. Those are things we can fix.”

Inaugural alliance member W. Kenny Massey said that the importance of buying local and bringing jobs to the community applies to air travel.

“More passengers using the Quad City International Airport means more air carriers will consider this region for expansions,” Massey said.


Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com