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      Trade highways for airways and save some cash

      A Cape Air flight preparing to leave from Quincy for St. Louis

      Some travelers have skipped the highways in favor of the airways, a money-saving move for many. Cape Air reduced fares on some of their flights and now flying between St. Louis and Quincy is only $39 each way.

      "I figure this is probably cheaper because if we went down in the car it would probably be at least $25-30 in gas and then we would stop and eat. So this was definitely cheaper," Denise Williams said before boarding her flight from Quincy Regional Airport to St. Louis.

      For one traveler, the cost of flying was a little higher, but the convenience made it worth the few extra bucks.

      "We left Houston at 8:05 this morning and here it is 11:30 and we're in Quincy," Gaylor Rhodes said, shortly after getting off his returning flight from Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.

      The reason Cape Air lowered prices for the flights is simple. Get more people on them, and get them on before the the end of the year.

      "If the city of Quincy has 10,000 enplanements, or passenger boardings for the year of 2012, then we qualify for a $1 million federal grant for safety improvements at the Quincy airport," Airport Director/City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp explained.

      Last year the airport nearly made the cut, with about 9,200 passengers, but that small difference costs the airport big. If it sees less than 10,000 passengers, the grant drops from $1 million to $150,000, which could put a damper in plans for safety improvements at Quincy Regional Airport.

      "We've got several plans. First of all we would like to purchase some property, perhaps off the airport to establish a runway safety area, or RSA. That'd be number one. We've got other structures, we've got runway improvement, pavement we'd like to take care of, tarmac work and stuff like that. We've got some drainage issues. So, we have a list of about 10 to 12 projects we would like to do if we would get that money," Steinkamp said.

      So far passenger numbers are slightly higher than they were at this time last year with 7,235 compared to 6,665.