ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Rockford International Airport is celebrating its 10th anniversary of being an official U.S. port of entry.

Since receiving the designation from the federal government in 2004, the airport has seen an increase in leisure travel, with more than 250,000 passengers flying to warm destinations. The Northwest Herald reports the designation has also helped the airport expand as a major hub for cargo flights, including a 600,000-square-foot UPS operation.

Executive Director Mike Dunn says the designation helped the area by providing convenience, commerce, and jobs.

Dunn says passengers can get through arrival and customs much more quickly at Chicago Rockford than at Chicago O'Hare. He says the airport also offers cheaper flights, free parking and is conveniently located.

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