For the 20th consecutive month, a record number of passengers have chosen to use Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport.
According to a news release, 844,453 passengers used the airport in April 2011. That number is up 1.42% from one year ago.
Abele said that one reason for the airport's success could be that more people from Illinois chose Mitchell over O'Hare and Midway airports.
"Our neighbors to the south have a large and busy airport but not exactly the most convenient. The wait times, parking and accessibility at Mitchell are pretty fantastic," said Abele.
A number of Illinois license plates could be seen in a quick scan of Mitchell's long-term SuperSaver parking lot. Many of those travelers said they were lured to Mitchell because is was less congested. They all pointed to the airport's long-term parking rates as to why they chose Milwaukee.
"It is very convenient. You have this very nice parking lot. $5 a day which is a great deal," said Cathy Olle of Fox Lake, Illinois. "Our other family is coming to Milwaukee from Illinois and so are our neighbors."
The $5-per-day rate is for Mitchell's SuperSaver lot, while it's $12 in the regular daily parking lot. O'Hare's advertised daily rate is $31. Midway's advertised daily rate is $29.
Another factor that could be drawing travelers from Illinois could be the average price of a flight from Milwaukee.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mitchell's average fare was $98 less than O'Hare's.
Meanwhile, a survey of Illinois travelers began on Wednesday at Mitchell. Airport officials are discounting parking by $2 if when travelers were Illinois license plates fill out the questionnaire. Airport officials said it's an opportunity to learn more about Illinois flyers and why they chose Mitchell over O'Hare and Midway.
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Nearly eight million travelers used Mitchell International Airport in 2008.
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