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Springfield Airport Ranks #1 Downstate for Economic Activity
It's an economic engine for Springfield--pumping half a billion dollars a year into our local economy.
Findings from a study have been released that rank the Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport at the top compared to other downstate commercial airports.
It's a place travelers travel to and from the capital city.
"The more direct the flights, the better," a traveler said.
Things are taking off for the airport, after a study ranked it number one in downstate airports fueling economic activity.
"It returns $563 million of economic impact," Executive Director Mark Hanna said.
But it's not necessarily from travelers passing through.
"We are a mode of transportation, but beyond the commercial air service, there's a larger business and general aviation base here in Springfield," Hanna said.
For instance, the airport maintains a large population of privately owned aircraft for recreation or work.
"The flexibility I have for my business that if I need to handle something that day or the next day I can," private pilot Bob Groh said. "I'm pretty much on my own schedule."
Revenue is then wheeled in from ground services like fuel, maintenance, and training.
"We repair F-16 engines for various guard units around the country and the Air Force," Gen. Willie Cobetto said.
The argument is salaries and project revenues are then driven into the rest of the city.
"The combined operating budget is $30 million for the payroll and day to day operation," Cobetto said. "We've had $25 million in construction projects."
Educational entities like Lincoln Land Community Colleges Aviation Program are also on base.
A total of 4,797 jobs are related to the airport.