Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce President Paul Rumler joined 4 The Record for a conversation this week. This is the second part of that interview.
Let's talk transportation.
There are a lot of big things happening around the Quad Cities.
Rumler was involved in this during his first stint.
Growing and successful airports can help drive the local economy.
We remember the short-lived direct service to Washington D.C.
The Quad City International Airport has a new executive director.
Rumler talked about what needs to change in order for the airport to thrive.
"Air service is one of those critical components if we're going to be that international destination or even a strong Midwest destination," Rumler said. "We need viable, strong, reliable air service. I look forward to working with the new director. Having some more frequent service. I hear that cost is sometimes a barrier. And making sure that there are reliable transfers from the major hubs, so that way you don't get a lost connection. Those right now would be the top issues that I hear from the community and the business community."
The airport's taxing authority is limited in Illinois.
It can only collect taxes from seven of the 18 townships in the county.
A measure to expand that to all of those townships failed in the Illinois capitol this legislative session.
A lot of people from Iowa use the airport. But, there are no tax contributions from that sector of this community.
Rumler said he "absolutely" thinks that should change and the chamber can play a role in that.
"It's a regional asset," Rumler said. "We have many regional assets in the Quad Cities that might not be supported regionally with funding. I think that's something that is a barrier for us as a community to overcome over the next few years. So, the chamber ... will be adding our voice to that conversation."
It takes more than a slogan like, "Fly MLI."
Rumler had some thoughts on how the airport could be a more attractive option.
"I think it's making sure that we have the destinations that people want," Rumler said. "So look at the demand side from our area's population. See where they want to go. Make sure that we're working with the businesses to hear what their concerns are as they're looking at making those reliable connections. And then go in and develop those relationships with the airlines to make sure that they understand what the market potential is her and that we're describing that market adequately."
Watch the entire interview in the video above.
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Here are some of the topics covered by our 4 The Record panel this week: