Greater Rockford Airport Says Yes to Takeoff for Hooters Air

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The Greater Rockford Airport is at it again. Wednesday night, the Airport Board agrees to a $2 million revenue guarantee to bring in Hooters Air service.

"If we don't believe in ourselves, no one else will. If we don't invest in this airport, no one else will. Risks have to be taken to get where we want to go," RFD chairman Mike Dunn says.

In a 4-2 vote, the board agreed to four weekly flights to and from Atlanta and Denver, two of the country's top leisure and business cities. The move continues RFD's recent success in creating busier runways.

"Prior to TMA, Rockford had a very poor reputation for retaining carriers here, so each carrier that's successful, the other carriers will sit up and take notice," Transportation Authority Dave Lindbergh says.

Airport Director Bob O"Brien said by adding successful domestic carriers, RFD is opening up the cabin doors for future flights overseas.

"Based upon our courage tonight, based upon our momentum, based upon our confidence in the market, I believe they'll be announcing two non-stop international destinations," O'Brien says.

And while the work of adding another airline is complete, leaders say the real challenge will be to keep planes packed with passengers.

"The region has to support Hooters and they have to support TMA. So they hard work begins now with the ticket sales, and in January when the flights start," Lindbergh adds.

On Monday, Mark Peterson, the President of Hooters Air, will discuss the new partnership with RFD at the airport.

Flights are expected to start at $99 one-way.