It's a momentous day for the Chicago Rockford International Airport.
"To have United Airlines, the second largest carrier in the United States starting out of Rockford is a dream come true," says Mike Dunn, Chairman of the Greater Rockford Airport Authority.
And Friday, the airport was packed with well-wishers, like Marge Hindert, who've been supporting domestic service at the airport since the beginning.
"It's a big boost to Rockford to have something like this come in, and I've heard so many reports about people who want to fly to Denver," says Hindert.
Following a special fire department salute, the second flight of the day to Denver departed. Guests then had a chance to tour the terminal and get a look at various enhancements, like the expanded baggage carrousel area, the new boarding area, and latitudes, the new welcome center.
"I had not had the opportunity to really come out and tour through, but it certainly is first class in appearance," says RFD supporter Roger Miller.
During the festivities, united representatives spoke about the unparalleled commitment that RFD leaders have for the airport's success. Dunn says the community has exerted the same commitment, one he hopes, will grow even stronger.
Airport leaders say Senator Durbin and Congressman Manzullo have been incredibly supportive. Manzullo was able to secure a one-million dollar grant for the airport in 2005, the largest grant awarded last year to any airport nationwide.