Transportation summit focuses on Lynchburg Regional Airport

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LYNCHBURG, VA (WDBJ7) -- Transportation was the topic in Lynchburg Tuesday while leaders met to discuss connectivity in the region.

Their main focus: more flight options.

That's because right now, a majority of travelers use other airports. "We have some other airports that are real close, so we're losing a lot of traffic down to Raleigh so a lot of people are driving because there aren't' a lot of options," explained Andrew LaGala, the Deputy airport Director.

Starting this fall, the airport will start a seventh daily round-trip flight to Charlotte, Lynchburg's only connecting airport. "What we're trying to do is see if we can go east, then go north and then maybe down the road if we can do something at Chicago and then go west," said LaGala.

To do that, experts suggest on-boarding more airlines like United.

William Swelbar, an air service expansion consultant is working with the airport to develop a plan.

He say's it has to be a joint effort between the airport and economic development. "And the airlines today are very much focused on where the business is, not so much that if you add service, the business will come it's if the business is there, the airlines will come," said Swelbar with Delta Airports Consultants Inc.

Airport officials say they're always working to entice more airlines to the region. "Looking in the near future, in a couple more years, it's happening, we're trying, we're pushing hard for it," said Lagala.