The Journal Gazette
Friday, December 03, 2021 1:00 am

Airport asks for fly local pledges

'First, Fly the Fort' offers incentives for businesses

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Attention travelers: Commit to Fort Wayne.

That's the heart of a campaign Fort Wayne International Airport announced Thursday, asking people to literally pledge to fly out of the local terminal.

Individuals can make the pledge online at

“Air service is a critical element that must be integrated into regional economic development discussions – and it starts with you,” a statement on the home page says.

The “First, Fly the Fort” campaign is billed as an important initiative, particularly for the business community.

“When you don't fly local you are giving your money to other communities to use toward their own growth and development, and other airports to continue to grow their air service offerings,” a news release said.

“The airport is an essential strategic economic asset for Fort Wayne and the northeast Indiana region. Air service is a critical element that must be integrated into regional economic decisions, which begin with local businesses keeping their dollars local,” the release said. “That's why we're encouraging individuals and regional organizations to adopt the Fly the Fort pledge. We know that FWA may not be the best choice every time, but we are asking our business partners, neighbors, and friends to commit to checking FWA first and encouraging their employees to do so as well.”

Local airport travel has some financial benefits, including savings on parking and tolls.

Parking at the local airport could cost $16 for two days.

Travel and parking expenses for using Indianapolis – including wear and tear from the drive – could cost nearly $270, according to a cost calculator on the local airport's website.

Total travel time could be less when flying from Fort Wayne, and there's this little sweetener that the online pledge points to: getting free cookies every time you fly in.

The campaign offers multiple incentives for businesses that sign the First, Fly the Fort pledge:

• Five free parking vouchers for employees flying out of FWA

• Five vouchers for free coffee at Conjure Coffee at FWA

• A First, Fly the Fort window cling for your business and other FWA swag

• Recognition on the First, Fly the Fort website

• Recognition in the airport terminal building on FWA's digital screens

• Recognition in First, Fly the Fort printed materials including future First, Fly the Fort ads, published articles and more

• Social media highlights and recognition on FWA's social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Anyone signing the pledge through Dec. 31 will also be entered into a special drawing to receive two round-trip airline tickets on any air carrier serving Fort Wayne – Allegiant, American, Delta or United – with a value up to $500 per ticket.

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