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Regional Airports Struggling

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Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports both saw a dip in flights last year. That’s according to data released by the Federal Aviation Administration Wednesday. But small, regional airports appear to have taken a hit as well.

Experts say the decreased number of flights at airports was largely due to airlines trying to cope with high fuel costs last year. Then, of course, there was the weakening economy. John Infanger is editorial director of Airport Business Magazine. He says while large airports like O’Hare are seeing fewer flights, the regional airports that feed them are really struggling.

INFANGER: Your mainstream, more smaller and mid-sized commercial airports are really the ones that have been taking the hits over the last year. And their focus is just maintaining access to the system.

Regional airports in Rockford, Waukegan, DuPage and Gary had fewer flights last year than they’ve had in at least a decade. Chicago’s Midway Airport had the biggest drop in flights in the region. They were down more than 12-percent last year.

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