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Rock Island County Metropolitan Airport Authority officials pledged that a newly completed strategic plan will not "sit on the shelf" and that it will be used to help measure progress at the Quad-City International Airport.

Steve Sorensen, owner of Strategy in Progress, presented a draft version of a three-year strategic plan during the authority's meeting Tuesday. The plan, which outlined the airport's objectives as well as strategic goals and actions, resulted from a day-long planning session in October with airport senior management and governing board.

Sorensen, who facilitated the earlier session, said the discussions identified four main objectives:

  • Stabilize and grow enplanements
  • Increase revenues and improve overall financial stability
  • Attract and retain a well-trained, customer-focused work force
  • Provide safe, customer-friendly and well-maintained facilities and airfield infrastructure.

"Everything the airport does day-to-day is operational," he said. But what the airport commits resources and time to should move one of the objectives forward, Sorensen told the commissioners.

Each objective also included a list of five to seven strategies, or action plans. Sorensen called those "staff assignments," adding those action plans "become a tool for (measuring) how we are doing over the next three years."  

The strategic plan also identified the vision the group has for the airport 10 years from now. It includes:

  • Meeting the air service needs of the region
  • Offering expanded routes to more hubs and west coast destinations
  • Having strong collaborative relationships with stakeholders and economic development partners
  • Being perceived as a major regional asset that is linked to the region's Q2030 economic growth mission.
  • Receiving strong support and use by major corporations and institutions in the region
  • Receiving financial support from a broad regional taxing authority beyond Rock Island County
  • Having developed its non-aeronautical land

"We don't want this to sit on a shelf," said chairman Jim Bohnsack.

Commissioner Jim Jannes described the plan as a "report card against the board and staff." He recommended airport staff and the board regularly hold post-strategy meetings to track their progress.

"They're already getting at some of these, which is good," Sorensen said after the meeting. He cited the new Fly Local Alliance as one example. The initiative is aimed at garnering support from local businesses and organizations as well as their commitment to shop their local airport when booking trips.

But some of the strategic actions could be several years in the making, such as changes in the taxing authority, Sorensen said.