The Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. has upped its efforts to expand foreign routes and strengthen the local airline economy through them.

A new committee, the Metro Denver Aviation Coalition, will lead the charge. The MDAC’s chairman for 2009-2010 will be Mike Caflisch, director of aviation operations for Jeppesen.

The group is an outgrowth of the EDC’s DIA Leadership Committee (DIAL), which focused primarily on Denver International Airport and expansion of international flights.

The new committee of business and community leaders will expand its focus on promoting and growing the aviation industry in the nine-county region in such areas as airport development, job-growth planning and airline route expansion, the EDC said in a statement.