By Shereen Siewert

Travelers in the Wausau area could soon have another option for flights out of Central Wisconsin Airport, with airport officials aggressively pursuing a low-cost carrier for service to multiple locations.

The Marathon County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a request by CWA to pledge up to $195,000 as a service development grant that would leverage $900,000 in federal funds to solidify service. CWA Manager Brian Grefe said airlines can spend up to $10 million to add service to an airport, and typically airports must pay to offset those costs.

The flights would likely target three specific destinations based on surveys and historic travel patterns, Grefe told the board. The top three destinations identified to date are are Orlando, Phoenix and southwest Florida, such as Fort Myers.

Grefe is in talks with Sun Country Airlines, an American ultra-low-cost passenger and cargo airline and the eleventh largest in the U.S. by passengers carried. The destinations identified align well with Sun Country’s routes, he said.

Dist. 38 Supervisor Jonathan Fisher called the proposal a “win-win” for the county that could help attract or retain people to the area.

The Marathon County Board unanimously approved the funding Tuesday. Portage County, which owns 35 percent of the airport, will also contribute $105,000 in funding for the service.

United Airlines discontinued service at CWA in January.