As a driver of economic development, Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) has been an unmitigated success story in recent years.

However, the airport still has a long way to go when it comes to one of its major goals – becoming a thriving center of air passenger traffic.

While the latest announcement that Boom Supersonic will build a $500-million supersonic jet factory at the airport is just a continuation of the success, promotional material from the airport calls for locals to support the airport’s flight services.

A note in this month’s PTIA newsletter even suggests that area flyers could see a loss of flights and carriers if passengers in the area don’t show PTIA more love.

“The only way to keep local air service at PTI is for Triad residents to use that service to show airline network planners that our community has a demand for travel,” the newsletter states.  “If residents do not use the air service being offered at PTI, then the community risks losing that service.”

Last month, hundreds of people attended the announcement that Boom Supersonic had chosen PTIA as the site for its new jet factory.  Outside at the presentation, there was a mob of people, however, inside, on a Wednesday afternoon,  the terminal (seen in the picture above), was a virtual ghost town – not the hub of activity that airport officials want to see.

Before COVID-19 hit, PTIA was making steady gains in passenger traffic, but COVID-19 knocked that trend back.  Now that people are once again starting to fly, airport officials want you to know that it’s a good time to change your flying habits if you’re not already using PTIA.

“As more people return to air travel, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority encourages Piedmont Triad residents to Fly Local, Fly Easy, and Fly from PTI,” states the new promotional material. “Continued progress in combatting COVID-19 is prompting airlines to re-start service that was suspended during the pandemic. We encourage local travelers who are ready to fly to be sure to take advantage of the service available at PTI.”

With gas prices shooting through the roof, it gets harder and harder to justify driving to Raleigh or Charlotte and back just to save money on an airline ticket. Between gas cost, long-term parking fees and fighting long lines and crowds, airport officials argue that any money saved on a ticket really isn’t worth it in the end.

“One of the primary missions of the airport is to ensure that passengers have the best experience possible when they travel through PTI, and we take this mission very seriously,” PTIA’s February newsletter states.

The airport’s promotional material goes on to remind locals that the airport has a host of “great non-stop and one-stop flight options out of PTI,” and it emphasizes the value of “flying local” in order to support local airline operations, the local economy, and the jobs that a thriving airport brings.

“Allegiant, American, Delta, and United offer great flight options that can take you all over the world,” the press release states.