Business and community leaders met in Wichita Wednesday morning to kick off a new campaign to encourage more travelers to use Eisenhower National Airport.

The Fly Wichita economic development initiative is aimed at building on the success the airport has had in recent years.  The airport announced Tuesday that it had a record number of passengers in 2018.  There were 1,665,116 passengers who flew in and out of the airport, which was an increase of 2.77 percent over the record year in 2017.   For the month of December, there were 140,304 passengers.  That was an increase of 6.08 percent from a year ago, and it set a new December record.

Valerie Wise, the airport’s air service and business development manager, said a goal of the campaign is to keep airfares affordable and to increase the number of non-stop destinations for Wichita travelers.    Wise said other airports also reported record traffic last year, and with increased demand, airports are looking to enhance service.    She said the campaign will focus on getting Wichita business and leisure travelers to use Eisenhower National Airport as much as possible.

Evan Rosell, vice president of projects with the Greater Wichita Partnership, said Wichita travelers want cheaper flights and more connections.  He said if the community responds and continues the trend of increased ridership, flights will be more affordable with more destinations.

Gary Plummer, president and CEO of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, said it’s time to build momentum and increase ridership even more at the airport, to try to hit the 2 million passenger mark.