Non Stop Flights to Reagan National a Key in Annual 'SA to DC' Junket

City government and business leaders have left for the nation’s capital on the annual "SA to DC" lobbying trip, and this year, the focus is lobbying congress to help with the city's airport, 1200 WOAI news reports.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg says, when they meet with elected leaders, they plan to work on getting a non-stop flight to D.C's Reagan International Airport.

"It makes sense for the airline industry.  It makes sense for travel and tourism. It makes sense for the military to have a direct, non-stop flight to Reagan International," he tells 1200 WOAI news.

Evaluating the city's air travel needs has been a priority for Mayor Nirenberg.  He previously set up a committee that will be looking at how to improve San Antonio International.  While there has been talk of expanding, and the possibility of a second airport for low-cost carriers, the focus has been on landing more non-stop flights.

Reagan International presents a challenge, because it's regulated by Congress.  There's a bubble, and beyond it, it's hard to land a coveted non-stop.  Nirenberg says he's optimistic about the move, thanks to bi-partisan support from congressional leaders.

"There's some legislative hurdles that we've identified over the years, and they've been working hard to overcome them," he adds. 

 The airport has been a convenient punching bag for both political and business leaders.  AT&T left San Antonio because of a lack of non-stop flights.  The city was not even considered for Toyota's North American headquarters, which eventually landed in Plano, TX.

But despite the concerns, the airport continues to grow.  For the first time ever, they surpassed 9 million passengers in 2017! A total of 20 new flights were added.

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