Things are really starting to take off for the Greater Rockford Airport. Several projects are underway to bring more visitors and their dollars to the area.
With passenger service flying high in Rockford, airport director Bob O'Brien sees nothing but clear skies ahead.
"Things are moving incredibly fast but at the same time incredibly well. We've got a lot of opportunities and we've said that all along," says Bob.
One of those new opportunities: the possibility that one day this departure board could feature a flight from Rockford to Budapest, Hungary. While the proposal may sound strange to some of us, O'Brien says we have to think outside of the box.
"We would probably once a week get charters from London and Paris and Germany and Amsterdam, coming here versus going to Chicago O'Hare. It’s hassle free," says O’Brien.
A Hungarian ambassador will be in Rockford next week to discuss the proposal. Also this week, a group opposed to plans for a rival airport in Peotone will visit the forest city. But even if that airport gets service, Rockford already appears to have a jump-start on marketing efforts.
In recent days Rockford's airport has been featured in several major publications and newspapers, and O'Brien sees many more stories in the making.
Despite the optimism, the airport has faced some early challenges. TransMeridian Airlines has had to cut some of its flight from Rockford to Orlando because of lack of demand, and some fliers have complained about the airline's price structure.