SAVOY, Ill., (WCIA) — Certain flights coming in and out of Willard Airport in Savoy are growing, and it all started on Wednesday. 

John Cumbee, the airport Fire Marshal, said this growth can help with the pilot shortage.

This summer’s shortage led to thousands of flight delays and cancelations nationwide. 

But, now that there’s more room, Cumbee said it’ll be more efficient for pilots. 

It’s not every flight coming in and out of Willard, only the daily ones taking off and arriving from Dallas. They’ll go from 50 seats to 75, and include a first-class section.

Maureen Murchie travels often as a musician and said she’s excited for more space on board. 

“Bigger planes mean a little bit more comfortable situation for musicians that travel with instruments. We like the overhead bin space to be available and that’s always good news for us,” she said.

Vasangh Krishnamurthy flies in and out of Willard multiple times a year when he comes to town to visit his son. He thinks this will help improve problems with the small number of seats available. 

“I think in the last year and a half, the number of seats coming in on CMI were limited,” he said. “Therefore, you’d never get flights here. But, you had to go down to BMI and go there.” 

Cumbee said most of the flights at Willard are typically full, and knows this will be helpful. He said their goal is simple, just to help more people fly. 

He hopes the growth continues because they want to see this happen to all flights there. Before, it’s only been periodic.