SAVOY, Ill. — The number of passengers using the University of Illinois’ Willard Airport went up 12 percent last year after the facility added an airline and more flights.

Airport executive director Gene Cossey tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette that it’s the first time in a decade that the number of departing passengers was more than 100,000, topping out at nearly 104,600 in 2017.

United Airlines last June started three daily flights between Willard and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. American Airlines in November added a second afternoon flight to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and kept its six daily flights to O’Hare. The additions mean Willard now has 550 departing seats daily, up from 300 at the beginning of 2017.

Cossey says he does “anticipate some growth in 2018 or 2019.”

Information from: The News-Gazette,