Passenger Service Battle

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The Greater Rockford Airport loses it's first chance to get passenger air service back.

Airport administrators are declining to comment on which airline turned them down, but they did tell us they are still talking with five to six other airlines about potential passenger service.

The airline carrier declining to come to Rockford said the Rockford area isn't ready for the introduction of air service. They say in a letter to airport administrators air service here is still too risky.

About four months ago the carrier proposed nonstop flights from Rockford to Orlando, but business and leisure survey's indicated northwest Illinois couldn't support the number of passengers it would take for the airline to make a profit.

At this point, the Greater Rockford Airport has only received about 19 percent response from air passenger business surveys, leisure survey numbers remain low as well. Those business and leisure survey's are key in the fight to restore passenger service.

Airport administrators say without detailed passenger surveys, it will be impossible to convince airlines to come to Rockford.

The survey project is still underway, if you'd like to participate.

You can get a survey by logging on to, or call 965-8639.

Airport director Bob O’Brien says another airline is close to coming to Rockford. In the next two weeks, the deal will either come to fruition, or fall out like this last deal did.

If things come together, this next airline could announce service within the next couple months.