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Airport looks at commuter flights for GM workers

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Catherine W. Idzerda
November 18, 2009
— Talk about a long commute.

Terry Huber's husband, Scott, drives between 8 and 10 hours to work—one-way. He is one of almost 200 displaced GM workers who found work at the Kansas City plant.


But his commute might get much shorter soon.


The airport in Rockford is considering offering weekend flights to and from Kansas City. But first, airport officials would like to know how many people are interested in using them.


"What we don't know is how many people might find a flight such as this useful," said Bob O'Brien, executive director of the Chicago Rockford International Airport, which is usually referred to as RFD.


In an e-mail addressed to "Friends of GM and RFD," O'Brien noted that if enough people were interested, the airport would be willing to make some concessions.


"If we simply had 50 people a week going on any one day each way, we could waive our airport rents and fees and arrange for a ‘break-even' round-trip price of approximately $175," O'Brien said.


Flights would probably run on Friday and/or Saturday and Sunday.


For Huber, the flight would reduce her anxiety about winter driving.


"The winter weather scares me," Huber said. "There was snow—snow—on the ground in Kansas City the last time he went back there."


O'Brien is asking people who would be interested in the flight to contact him with information about how often they might use the services and what days of the week they'd prefer to fly.


O'Brien hopes to get the service running before Christmas.


To contact O'Brien, e-mail him at bob@flyrfd.com.

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