AirTran Airways believes Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport could eventually be viewed as Chicago's third commercial airport, along with Midway and O'Hare. "We think there's a lot of potential from north Chicago," says CEO Bob Fornaro, noting that 3.5 million people live within 60 miles of Mitchell. Intense three-way competition in Milwaukee -- Southwest Airlines and Midwest Airlines also have major operations there -- helped the airport notch record passenger traffic in the final quarter of 2009, when many other airports were seeing declines.

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