New Willard Airport chief seeks East Coast direct flights

SAVOY, Ill. (AP) — The new executive director of the University of Illinois’ Willard Airport is dreaming big. Gene Cossey told the (Champaign) News-Gazette that he hopes to “capture some destinations.” He wants to find places to which travelers from the airport can fly directly. Cossey begins his job Dec. 7. He said he hadn’t researched it, but potential direct-destination cities could include Charlotte, North Carolina, and Denver. That would help Willard fliers avoid having to go through Chicago’s busy O’Hare International Airport. Washington, D.C., is a popular destination for Willard travelers. But Cossey does not foresee landing a direct flight there. He says it makes more sense to seek “East Coast hubs that are open and have growth and potential.” Willard currently sees six daily arrivals and six daily departures.