He said passenger traffic is up at Wilmington about 21 percent for the first nine months of 2005 over the same time last year. Wilmington has direct flights to New York, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, as well at Atlanta and Charlotte.
Rosborough said the new international service could impact the New Hanover County economy. He said lots of Bermuda residents travel to the U.S. for goods and services.
"They can get it a lot cheaper in the states," he said. "We think that's going to have a great impact."
Rosborough said the airport used to lose passengers to Raleigh and Myrtle Beach, S.C., a trend known in the industry as leakage. He hopes this new service will help continue to boost passenger numbers.
"This new service we have here would be offering something to all of our customers even the smaller airports," he said.
For five long years the Kinston Regional Jetport, part of the N.C. Global TransPark was without a commercial air carrier. That changed in April when Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a regional partner with Delta, began offering non-stop service to Atlanta.
Kinston hasn't looked back, mounting an aggressive effort to lure passengers from other airports.
Drivers heading toward Albert J. Ellis Airport on U.S. 258 will pass a billboard encouraging them to use Kinston.
"We have (billboards) throughout eastern North Carolina," said Jennifer Brezina, director of marketing and communications for the Global TransPark Authority. "By the end of the holiday, we expect to have about 20 billboards total."
You can hear radio ads touting the airport. One features people who just came back from Atlanta for the day with a plethora of shopping bags touting the airport's convenience. Another features a woman reading many of the cities passengers can connect to through Atlanta if they fly out of Kinston.
The airport says about 80 percent of the flights' seats have been filled since the service began.
Some other perks are available for passengers using the Jetport. Library books are available to borrow. Passengers can win prizes like a set of golf balls.
"We have a T.G.I.F. program in place where we give passengers free giveaways on Fridays," Brezina said.
But perhaps one of the most appealing perks is free parking. Vickers admits the free parking is a mild irritant for him and other airport directors because the Jetport is state subsidized and funded. Ellis charges $6 per day.
"By not charging the parking, they're forgoing the opportunity for that revenue," he said.
Jacksonville is dangling incentives worth about $700,000 to entice two Delta flights.
Wilmington airport officials hope to have a new satellite lot near the existing rental-car lot open before the start of the busy holiday travel season.
The airport's long-range plan, put together a few years ago, hadn't forecast crossing the 700,000-passenger threshold until the end of 2007.
Smaller airports bear the brunt of cutbacks after record losses in the airline industry.