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A Publication of WTVP

The Greater Peoria Regional Airport (PIA) has experienced plenty of exciting news over the last four months. One of the most important aspects of our service to the community is the role we play in developing and strengthening the economy. Global economies depend on air access to support and develop business. The greater Peoria area and its transportation infrastructure have the components of a successful community: a significant presence in the global economy, and a thriving commercial and general aviation network to support it.

PIA has the largest runway available outside Chicago O’Hare and provides the only FAA controlled, 24-hour air traffic service south of Chicago. We’re a U.S.-approved port of entry with U.S. customs service available on-airport and provide commercial service for both cargo and passengers. Our commercial cargo and passenger service continues to get stronger, as PIA handled almost 50 million pounds of cargo and 520,000 passengers in 2005. In 2006 we expect equal or greater numbers for cargo, as UPS has named PIA one of five new gateways in their distribution system. FedEx continues to be a strong leader at PIA and will continue to provide first-class service for our area businesses.

Our five airlines (Allegiant Air, American Eagle, Delta Connection, Northwest Airlink, and United Express) serving five destinations (Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Minneapolis) continue to post strong numbers. However, even though over the past year we’ve lost 4.5 daily departures and 150 daily departing seats, our market is showing strong support for our service. Allegiant Air announced an additional flight to Las Vegas beginning October 3. The additional flight will make Allegiant Air’s service to Las Vegas daily. United Express announced a fifth daily flight to Chicago beginning October 31. It’s also upgrading two of its regional jet flights to larger regional jets with first-class seating beginning in September. Delta Connection is resuming its Saturday/Sunday flight to Atlanta beginning November 1. Northwest Airlink is also resuming its Saturday service to Minneapolis on November 1. We expect to make more announcements in the coming months, as we’re working hard every day with our airlines to get more seat capacity. In June, we posted the highest load factor (seats filled vs. seats available) of 86.5 percent in the airport’s history.

PIA is moving forward with plans to redevelop its terminal facility. Architects have been hired and have started the initial phase (schematic design) of planning the project. We’re developing the financial plan and working with the architects to identify the critical elements and size of the project.

The River City Air Show was a success, thanks to the hard work of Brett Krause and his dedicated team, supporters, sponsors, and contributors. Over 30,000 people experienced aviation at its best. Planning for next year’s show is already underway.

Overall, the airport is positioning itself for long-term growth, but we need your help. Without you (our customer), we can’t provide the level of service you need. Your patronage and support is very important to us, and we thank you for using our airport…we know you have a choice.

I’d also like to thank our hardworking staff and the employees of our tenants. We have a first-class team of people at the airport, and I’m proud of the level of service we provide.  IBI

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