SAVOY, Ill. (WCIA) — Willard Airport in Savoy wants to take travelers out to Washington, D.C. and they are hoping to use $850,000 they received to achieve that goal.

The money comes from federal grant funding; nearly $17 million dollars is going to airports around the country, but Willard was the only airport in Illinois to receive funding.

Currently, the facility sees about 100,000 travelers a year, and the new flights would add 50 seats each day.

Executive Director, Tim Bannon, said the money would help Willard expand travel in other parts of the country.

“Low-cost carrier to the south is always something we’re pursuing and then this D.C. route is very important,” Bannon said. “So those are our primary efforts today, is getting the Washington D.C. due to that business travel and university travel.”

Bannon said pre-pandemic flights varied between eight to nine a day. Now they’re down to around four, so he said now would be the best time to add more flights.

Bannon also said there are no promises with the grant. It puts on the table for airlines to think about as an incentive, which could take up to three years. He believes there’s more work to do moving forward.