Chicago Executive Airport receives US$2m grant to upgrade airfield 

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Chicago Executive Airport is to receive US$2.25 million of federal and state funding to install airfield safety improvements next year.

The upgrade to the airfield is being awarded through the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Airport Improvement Program and will modernize its lighting, signage, and airfield circuitry systems. Additionally, the FAA-manned control tower will receive an upgraded control panel.

The grant is being 90% funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, 5% from IDOT and 5% by the airport. Jamie Abbott, executive director of Chicago Executive Airport said, “This grant allows us to continue improving our airfield infrastructure to include the most advanced lighting technologies.

“We already have a one of the finest operations crews in the entire country, with a nationally-recognized safety record of excellence. Now we will have the infrastructure to match.”

Infrastructure such as electrical regulators will be replaced along with the control tower’s lighting control panel. An Airfield Lighting Control & Monitoring System (ALCMS) will be installed to control the many airfield lighting systems for the runways, taxiways, and aprons. It allows lights to be switched on in groups or individually with varying intensities and pre-programmed time intervals.

Andrew Wolanik, Chicago Executive Airport’s operations and maintenance supervisor said, “We’ve been upgrading our lighting systems every year as our budget allows, but this grant will move our project forward quickly.  The safety and operational improvements and integrity of the electric infrastructure will be significant.”

The awarding of this grant comes on the heels of one of Chicago Executive’s busiest summers for aircraft operations in years. July and August 2020 were the first back to back months of over 9,000 operations since 2013.  August operations were 16% above August 2019.

Chicago Executive Airport is the top reliever for Chicago O’Hare International and accepts around 80,000 corporate, charter, and recreational aircraft every year. It’s three FBOs are provided by Atlantic Aviation, Hawthorne and Signature.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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