John Reed has served as the executive director of Rochester International Airport (RST) for five years. During that time, the airport has seen significant growth in passengers and available flights. A recent study from the Minnesota Department of Transportation found that RST generates $190 million in annual economic activity, supports more than 1,600 jobs and generates $9.2 million in state and local tax revenue. The airport recently received a Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) grant from the Department of Transportation to recruit new nonstop service to a western hub from RST.
In Rochester, Minnesota there are seemingly endless ways to give back to the community. But Rochester resident Michele Nelson took volunteerism a step further when she and her family opened their home to two families from Mongolia as their infant sons awaited heart surgery at Mayo Clinic.
Nelson works in Delta Global Services at the Rochester International Airport (RST), where she saw firsthand the impact of the Children’s Heart Project, a Samaritan’s Purse initiative in which the group arranges life-saving operations for children from countries lacking the medical expertise or equipment available elsewhere. Now, Nelson and others have become the focus of a new RST-commissioned documentary that chronicles the five-week journey of patients, families, translators, hosts, and medical professionals as they navigate new life-changing experiences.
The Rochester International Airport (RST) delivered exciting travel news for the region recently with the announcement of new airline service at RST.
Beginning in July, Elite Airways will operate nonstop flights to two new destinations from RST: Phoenix, Arizona (PHX) and St. Augustine, Florida (UST).
“The Rochester International Airport is a critical asset to the community,” says Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency Executive Director Lisa Clarke. “The launch of this new air service is great news for Rochester and southeastern Minnesota and aligns nicely with the DMC initiative and the growth of the region.”
Airports are more than just a center through which people travel. They play a vital role in social and economic development, and, in a health-focused community like Rochester, a quality travel experience is vital for patients, visitors, and community members.
With up to 13 flights daily, Rochester International Airport (RST) is home to three of the “Big Four” airlines: American, Delta, and United. The regional hub has seen a 27% passenger growth over the past year, serving more than 290,000 passengers. A $12-million-dollar airport renovation to provide new, improved services and amenities for travelers is almost complete.
In 2017, RST introduced several new flight options. United Airlines added new service to Chicago O’Hare, Delta increased frequency on routes to Atlanta and Minneapolis, and American Airlines continued to offer daily flights to Chicago O’Hare as well.
Transportation is at the forefront of urban planning and growth, and Rochester leaders are exploring how to best meet the needs of all as the Destination Medical Center initiative continues to take shape.
Transportation goals for Rochester include moving 23-30% of the workforce downtown via transit by 2035, connecting downtown districts with a circulator, and creating a world-class place for regional transit arrival and departure.