The project, as well as the conference center, could attract companies from all over the Los Angeles area, said Riverside assistant city manager Michael Beck.
"We need to have a viable airport to support executives who will be flying in and out of the area," he said.
Griffin, who frequently travels to other cities on business, said an airport's facilities affect how a business thinks about a particular city.
"You want to be able to get in, have your meeting, see what you need to see and get home in time for dinner," he said.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.