RFD Looks to Add More Destinations in 2014

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- After some ups and downs last year leaders at the Chicago Rockford International Airport say 2013 saw more passengers travel through RFD than ever before.

Long lines and heavy foot traffic were a common sight at Rockford Airport last year that's according to RFD Director Mike Dunn who says it's time to expand.

"The FAA has several measurements that they take into consideration for efficiency and space and safety in terminals and we're now starting to fail some of those measurements by FAA standards so we're going to do an expansion," Dunn said.

It's a new project that could take off this year, costing $20 million and will take two to three years to complete.

"It will allow customers to passengers to move more comfortably throughout the building both throughout the outbound back on the inbound to get their bags and through the door," he said.

A new terminal isn't the only thing Dunn says he's working on. RFD says adding new destinations in 2014 is a real possibility, but there's still a lot of work to be done before we can fly to New York or Boston out of RFD.

"We have to prove to carriers that we're not just a Rockford airport. It's really now just a matter of marketing hard this airport and offering it as an alternative to carriers looing to get into the Chicago market," Dunn said.

Dunn says more people are looking at Rockford Airport when they plan a trip, which gives him confidence the airport can reach its goals.

RFD says even after losing its Denver service, it finished 2013 with higher passenger totals because it added other destinations. Dunn says the ultimate goal is for those numbers to reach close to a million passengers each year, but that may take some time.

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