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June 6, 2000

Ryan Commends Pan Am For Landing At Mid-America Airport

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today commended Pan American Airways for its decision to become the first carrier to provide passenger service at MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah. Direct air service from MidAmerica is scheduled to start August 16th to Gary/Chicago Airport and Sanford/Orlando Airport.

"We are delighted that Pan American Airlines is making MidAmerica its sixth metro-convenient airport," Ryan said. "It is my hope that Pan Am's pioneering efforts will act as a catalyst for future growth at MidAmerica."

Development of Scott Air Force Base for joint military/civilian use was first proposed in the mid 1980s and was a key to keeping the base open. The Air National Guard's 126th Air Refueling Wing has since moved to Scott AFB from O'Hare Airport, bringing with it 500 new jobs.

The State of Illinois provided $60 million towards the $220 million cost of the airport which opened in early 1998.

"MidAmerica will serve as a gateway to all of Southern Illinois for tourists and businesses alike," said Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) Director Pam McDonough. "Through perseverance and the leveraging of this federal investment, we not only have avoided the creation of yet another brownfield site, but instead, have turned it into a viable economic engine for the entire region."

The airline will be providing service using their 727-200 Clipper Class aircraft which they currently employ in the Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, central Florida and Bangor markets.

"Our Clipper strategy is to provide quality and reliable service to underutilized facilities located in metropolitan areas," said Company President Dave Fink. "MidAmerica is a perfect match for Pan Am and we believe its growth opportunities are fantastic."


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