If you hear the word "airport," chances are, you picture a massive terminal, such as O'Hare in Chicago, with bustling crowds of people, limited parking, nauseatingly long liens, and a big board of planned flights bearing the most dreaded word in any traveler's lexicon: "CANCELLED."

These are problems almost completely foreign to the wonderful airport in our own backyard: the Dubuque Regional Airport. Recently, they've launched a campaign that's more than just a catchy slogan. "Fly Dubuque 1st" is part of a mission to help people recognize that DBQ boasts several amenities for travelers, on top of being an avenue to support your friends, neighbors, and family, whom might even work for the airport.

Airport Director Todd Dalsing and CEO of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce Molly Grover were kind enough to drop by the studio and fill us in on what makes Dubuque Regional Airport special.

"We'll make it easy for you," Dalsing says right off the bat. "So, we're going to offer free parking [and] no long lines at TSA. It's quick and convenient. Once you go through screening, you can go get a meal. A meal that would normally cost you six or seven dollars more in Chicago. We're trying to make it easy and touch-free."

Flights out of DBQ boast a 98% completion rate (2021 figures) and incoming flights very rarely cancel, according to the airport's website.

The airline industry has faced many challenges with the ongoing pandemic. At the root of DBQ's new campaign is to encourage people to continue fueling their local economy.

"In reality, Dubuque is competing with around 235 other airports, and with the current pilot shortage, we're all competing for those limited resources," Dalsing added. "That's where it's more important now to support your local economy and your local regional airport, and show the airlines that it's better to place that plane and pilot here than in one of our competing markets."

For more information on "Fly Dubuque 1st," you can visit the website dedicated to the campaign. You can of course find out flight information, directions, and parking in formation on the airport's official website.

You can also listen to my full interview with Todd Dalsing and Molly Grover with the player below:

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