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Costs rising for air travelers at regional Wisconsin airports

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - It's getting more expensive for Wisconsin Thanksgiving air travelers to fly from their regional airports, than from the state's largest airport in Milwaukee. 

The Appleton Post-Crescent says the average fare at that city's airport has risen by almost $80 since 2005, while the cost of Milwaukee flights has held virtually steady. 

Madison's average air fares are up $42 over the last eight years -- $98 at the Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee, and $126 in Green Bay. 

Milwaukee's Mitchell International is the only one in the state served by all of the remaining domestic carriers. Officials say it has kept average fares steady, while other places throughout the country have seen a 6 percent increase. 

Officials at smaller airports say their price gap is due to fewer planes, and the need by carriers to fly full airplanes to cover things like their rising fuel costs. 

The Outagamie County Regional Airport at Appleton sells convenience. Director Abe Weber his airport offers time for its local residents -- time they can spend with their families instead of driving to Milwaukee. 

Other leaders of smaller airports say their residents can save on parking and hotel costs, and they should figure those things in when shopping for air fares.