TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Commercial air service is returning to the capital city.
The Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority was tight lipped about its plans for the past several months.
"It is necessary to keep it quiet," says President and Director of Airports, Eric Johnson.
But Monday, the MTAA announced an agreement with United Airlines for air service between Topeka Regional Airport and Chicago.
Mayor Larry Wolgast and Governor Sam Brownback say this is a big step forward.
"This is one of the most exciting announcements we could have. So many people have been looking forward to this, thinking perhaps it would never happen," says Wolgast.
"I think it's a game changer for Topeka. When we've seen this happen in other communities in Kansas, it really elevates their status," says Brownback.
The Topeka Regional Airport service uses a 50 passenger regional jet with 2 departures and 2 arrivals daily, 7 days a week.
"It means growth, economic growth here," says Johnson.
Johnson says the air fares from Topeka are expected to be the same as those from Kansas City.
For now, the airport seats are empty, but Johnson expects them to fill up when the first planes take off in January.
"I'm just thrilled were going to be starting this here soon," says Johnson.
Tickets are available to purchase immediately. Flights begin in January 2014. Flights can be found on www.united.com for $218 round trip.
Parking at this airport is also $5 for unlimited amount of days.
Satellite parking at MCI is $7 per day.