Direct QC to DC Flights Needed To Protect Arsenal - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Direct QC to DC Flights Needed To Protect Arsenal

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Plans to get a direct flight from the Quad City Airport to Washington D.C. has been in the works for a while and today the plan is one step closer to reality.

It's something the QCA lacks right now and lawmakers say is needed to protect the Rock Island Arsenal.

"If something were to happen to the Arsenal, it could be devastating to our region," said Exec. Vice President of the QC Chamber of Commerce Paul Rumler.

The Pentagon said it's a "glaring omission", no direct flights from the Quad Cities to Washington D.C.

Together, the Chamber and lawmakers are working to make it happen.

"Looking at past BRAC's its on utilization, it's on cost," said Rumler. "There's many different factors that play into the decision that are made. What we're trying to do is reduce the variables that could negatively impact the Rock island Arsenal."

Rumler said the connection from the QC to DC is needed, to give the arsenal better access to the Pentagon and the contractors that do business with it. He said they approached several airlines, finally finding one that would provide daily direct flights.

"We have this need, will they fill it? And an airline, that we are not naming right is able to provide a contract, if we would provide a revenue agreement," said Rumler.

That contract requires a budget of $1.9 million, $1.5 million coming from the State of Illinois and that passed the Senate today. The next step is for Governor Quinn to sign it.

"So, $400,000 would come from the local community and we'll then have air service from Washington D.C.," said Rumler.

Rumler said they aren't sure where the local funding will come from yet, it could be anything from donations to tax dollars.

The subsidy would last for 3 years and if by that point the free market can support the flight service, they may not need another budget agreement.

"As our world gets more global and we do more business outside the US, people come to Washington D.C. as a primary destination," said Rumler. "To have the Quad Cities be a next step on that trip would be a great asset for here to attract international visitors, while also for us to go to our nation's capital and beyond."

Rumler said 10,000 passengers fly between the Quad Cities and Washington D.C. each year and this new service would not only be for arsenal business, but could open up tourism options for our area to travel to the east coast as well.

Rumler said there is no time frame yet for when the first QC to DC flight will take off, but they are still negotiating with the airline to finalize the details of the contract.

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