Look around our city. License plates, bumper stickers, hats, shirts, murals up and down Douglas Avenue – all display the flag. Wichita’s flag. Our city pride emblazoned across any available surface. It’s the kind of puff-out-your-chest, hold-your-head-high attitude that gets stuff done. That makes a difference. That raises our entire region. It’s just the kind of civic-driven approach Wichitans should use when choosing an airport.

gary plummer wichita chamber of commerce i fly wichita
Gary Plummer, president and CEO,
Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce

The I Fly Wichita economic-development initiative kicked off this week with a downtown rally. Backed by change-agent Wichita businesses, city officials and organizations, it joins Project Wichita and The Chung Report challenging people to practice what they preach. To fly more than the flag. To fly Wichita.

The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the kickoff, sent out an invitation, and almost overnight had RSVPs for all 300 tickets. I have to think people were hungry for more than the breakfast and networking. They wanted to know how they could play a role in boosting our economy through their travel choices.

Ready to Rise

The quality of our air service directly affects our quality of life. Skeptical? There’s research to prove it. More airlines, routes, nonstop destinations, competitive fares and larger aircraft improve much more than Wichita Eisenhower National Airport – and your next vacation.

Better air service attracts businesses – and talent to staff them. It draws entertainers and events. Did you know the NCAA will be back in 2021? It brings in sports teams and other groups that host conferences for hundreds or thousands of people who spend money at our restaurants, shops and hotels. Who see our pride and fall in love with our city, so they come back again. And encourage their friends to do the same.

i fly wichita panel
(l-r) Devin Hansen, president of Sunflower Travel; Moji Rosson, Visit Wichita vice president of sales; Mike Zucconi, director of development for Hesston College; and Evan Rosell, vice president of projects for Project Wichita/Greater Wichita Partnership gave powerful arguments for choosing to fly out of Wichita.

Eisenhower National Airport celebrated its sixth record year in a row in 2018. Let’s keep that momentum going. That gleaming new terminal is the door to the city, a welcoming gateway to the Air Capital. It’s also our portal to prosperity. When we drive to an out-of-town airport thinking we might save a buck or two, or when we don’t support our low-fare carriers so they’ll stay – it’s like taking our flag and stomping on it.

What do you say? Will you join us and tell the world, I Fly Wichita?

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