Fly Local

Airplane taking off from runway

Utilizing your local airport can positively impact the regional economy.


Over the past five years, RST passengers went from the highest point (2019) to the lowest non-pandemic point (2022). Load factors – aviation speak for butts in seats – are 12% lower than the average for Upper Midwest markets at just 70%. With your help, we have the potential to capture one million passengers who live near RST and choose to drive to MSP. Capturing 33% of those passengers could support nine departures per day to more destinations.

Potential route map if 33% of passengers who live in our area choose to fly out of RST.

Locals may choose MSP over RST for a variety of reasons – the need for a connecting flight, a lower ticket price, more airline and flight time options. So how can we change this narrative and make a positive impact on air service in our community? The answer is simple, yet difficult: behavior change. Can individuals and business owners in our community make the first move and choose to travel through RST, proving to airlines we have the demand to move their planes and pilots to our community?

Does your company have a fly local policy? If so, can it commit a little bit more of its travel to RST? As little as 5% more travel can make an impact. If your company does not travel for business, can you increase referrals or personal travel to RST?

Flying local means increased frequency of current routes, larger aircraft with more seats and amenities, new routes and/or airlines, easier access to our region for visitors and patients, and economic vitality for the entire region.

Supporting RST means you are supporting your local community. By committing just 5% more travel to RST, the airport has the potential to grow by 30% in just one year.


There is demand for sustaining and recruiting new air service in southeast Minnesota. Local support helps RST continue to be an economic driver, expand flight options, and be a lifeline to Mayo Clinic patients. Commit to fly local to help maintain the long-term health of your airport.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a time with Mary Gastner and learn how your company can make an impact in our community.


Consider all the costs, see the true cost of travel from RST versus MSP with our True Cost Calculator!