- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A study says say business and travel growth in the Topeka area could lure an airline to the Topeka Regional Airport, which hasn’t had passenger flights since 2014.

The Topeka Capital Journal (https://bit.ly/2cuqNlv ) reports that Sixel Consulting Group studied passengers’ habits in the region using data from a year of travel. The study shows that on average, nearly 1,700 people from the region fly in and out of Kansas City International Airport per day for business or other activity. That is a 25 percent increase in flights since 2012.

The consulting group told the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Board Authority on Tuesday that business growth in the city contributed most to the flight increase.

“That’s a good sign that your area continues to grow and expand,” said Michael Gordon, with Sixel Consulting Group. “You’re going to be seeing more traffic, whether it be leisure or business.”

The University of Kansas in Lawrence is another factor making Topeka an attractive destination Gordon said. He pointed to the university’s foreign student population and out-of-state athlete flights as a positive factor.

U.S. Airways Express in Topeka offered three flights daily to and from Kansas City International Airport until May 2003, when a substantial decrease in passengers cost the airline a federal subsidy.

Airport director Eric Johnson said future service would operate differently. New service agreements won’t include revenue guarantees that require MTAA to pay a subsidy, he said.

In the coming months, the airport will present the study to airlines to gauge their interest.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com


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