Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A new report indicates efforts to boost traffic at the Rochester International Airport are having a positive impact. A study based on 2017 statistics shows 24-percent of travelers in the Rochester area chose to book flights at the local airport rather than travel to the Twin Cities Airport. That’s double the retention rate reported in a study from 2013.

Rochester Airport officials say the retention figure is confirmed by actual passenger totals, which are up 50-percent this year when compared to the first six months of 2017.

“Travelers in our region are understanding the importance of choosing to Fly Local,” said John Reed, RST’s executive director. “Airlines are beginning to pay attention to the economic strength of our region and the renewed commitment to use RST.”

Reed notes United Airlines established new air service to Chicago O’Hare last June and Delta Air Lines has increased frequency of flights to the Twin Cities and its headquarters in Atlanta. American Airlines has increased the size of aircraft used on flights to Chicago and Elite Airways is now planning to begin offering new nonstop service to Phoenix and St. Augustine in October.