A new flight is coming to the Quad Cities after Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation on Saturday, June 28, 2014 allowing daily direct flights from the Quad Cities International Airport (QCIA) to Washington, D.C.
“We have heard repeatedly how important it is to have a direct, nonstop flight from this great airport to Washington D.C.,” Governor Quinn said.
To help fund the flights, the QCIA will receive $1.5 million in grant money every year for three years as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s I-FLY air carrier recruitment and retention grant.
The flight will be available for everyone to use, but the people it will impact the most are the 7,000 employees at the Rock Island Arsenal, who fly to the capital regularly.
Tara Barney, President and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, said they were the “big pushers” for the bill.
“[The Arsenal] contracts for everything that serves the military around the world,” Barney said. “To be able to have easy access to the people they’re working with and developing those contracts and managing them is a huge lift.”
Governor Quinn also mentioned that last year, Illinois had over 100 million tourists visit the state, something he hopes will continue with the new flight to Washington, D.C.
The flight will be ready for its first passengers by late this spring or early next fall.