By David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Atlantic City International Airport this morning kicked off daily service provided by United Airlines from two major hubs:  Chicago and Houston.

There’s been a lot of state and federal money poured into the airport, improving runways and the main terminal. Suth Jersey congressman Frank LoBiondo sees this as the start of a turnaround.

“I think it creates an enormous opportunity for us,” he told KYW Newsradio today, “and the preparations to take advantage of this opportunity have been going on for some time.”

Several local officials, including Atlantic City’s mayor, hopped onto the inaugural flight to Chicago for meetings there, in hopes of drumming up business.

The airport recently came under the management of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (see related story), an agency with the clout to get the major carriers to consider Atlantic City.  Until now, Spirit was the only airline serving ACY.