Upcoming changes could double amount of people seen through Joplin Regional Airport

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The Joplin Regional Airport is on track to see thousands more people in the terminals than year’s past.

They’re working very hard to get that off the ground. And airport staff and residents would both love to see that take off.

“We’ve been working very very hard for the last four or five years to get an expansion of service to Chicago,” says Steve Stockam.

American Airlines just added a new flight to Dallas at the Joplin airport.

“Last time I flew to Dallas for a buyer show,” says Eli Burton with Liberty Tree Gun Shop.

Residents say this service has been beneficial and so would a Chicago flight.

“It made it extremely easy I didn’t have to get up super early and just walked right in, there was no line,” says Burton.

“This service has been very very good, American has done a good job of serving the market,” says Steve Stockam.

Such a good job in fact, the airport will see an all time high of people through the terminals.

“We’ll probably do a little over 80 thousand passengers total through the airport this year,” says Stockam.

Could that mean adding flights to Chicago?

“Obviously Chicago, having that connection is huge,” says Steve Stockam.

Stockham adds it would be a huge benefit to the airport. 

“We will literally double our passengers if we can get the Chicago connection,” says Stockam.

The air service with American Airlines ends in February, so airport officials are waiting to see if they re-sign.

“Ultimately we’d like to see the expansion through American, they’ve been a great providers of service to the community and they’ve done a great job over the last four years but if they don’t we need to look other places,” says Stockam.

The airport will also use a MODOT grant as well as personal funding totaling up to $95 thousand dollars to advertise the air service in airports across the Four States. However that money won’t be used until they have secured a flight service.

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