I Fly Wichita is a grassroots initiative focused on economic expansion through enhanced air service. When businesses are considering where to set up shop or expand existing operations, one of the driving influences behind their decision is the level of air service. Is there a good selection of nonstop destinations? Are fares affordable? Affordable airfares and nonstop destinations will also make our region more attractive to talent. With that, we have a better chance of attracting businesses, employees and families, grow our population, and support more air service. And the economy expands.
Project Wichita ranked more nonstop destinations and affordable airfares among the top three priorities for this region. I Fly Wichita is about empowering the region to be part of the solution by making travel decisions that support our economy. In other words, Fly Wichita.
Our surveys indicate that 59% of respondents have flown out of other airports for nonstop flights; 55% have used other airports because of ICT’s fare. When you use other airports, you are supporting those economies, not your own. According to the Chung Report, “Collectively as a city, we have to decide—are we going to just accept the way we operate or are we going to create a better Wichita? The things holding us back are things within us. It’s hard to change that, but it is changeable.”
We compete with all airports for limited airline resources, and airlines have to decide which airport will be the most profitable. To stay competitive, many airports and the regions they serve are resorting to more aggressive efforts for air service development. Stronger community-based efforts such as community-funded consortiums to recruit new airline service are the trend. If we are serious about air service, we need to take an aggressive approach. As Chung stated, “we need to do things differently.” This is what I Fly Wichita is about. Will you partner with us?
Air Service and Marketing Manager
Wichita Airport Authority