VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna has finally received federal approval for daily flights from Youngstown to Chicago.

The approval came in a letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday. Aerodynamics Incorporated (ADI) will begin offering the flights to Chicago O’Hare on July 1.

Director of Aviation Dan Dickten says flights to and from Chicago will put the Mahoning Valley back on the map.

“It puts our community back in touch with the rest of the world.”

Not only will there be more travel options without having to drive to the Pittsburgh or Cleveland airports, but the flights will also help the local economy.

Dickten says over the past few years, Allegiant flights only traveled to a few vacation spots. With flights to Chicago, people from all over the world will be able to travel to the Youngstown area to visit or for business.

“It brings people into our own community where they’re spending their dollars here instead of spending them on vacation down in Florida. It will help our economic well-being quite a bit.”

Local businesses have already been preparing for the influx of travelers. Several hotels are popping up near the Eastwood Mall complex in Niles, just 15 minutes away from the airport.

Cafaro Company’s Joe Bell says the hotels are for accommodating more visitors.

“Folks in the hotel industry have already been saying there’s a need for additional rooms for business travelers, and we have determined there’s a need for meeting space for business travelers. Hence, we’re in the process of developing the Eastwood Event Center.”

He also says local businesses are working together to make the area more visitor-friendly.

“There’s been discussions with a local golf club owner who wants to run a shuttle service between the golf clubs and Eastwood Mall where business travelers could stop and get a meal or do some shopping if they need to.”

Flight tickets will be on sale starting next week on ADI’s website.