SCHAUMBURG – Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig today congratulated the “2010 Airport of the Year” award recipients. Seven Illinois airports were recognized at the Illinois Aviation Conference, held in Schaumburg last week, for their accomplishments throughout the year, including an outstanding partnership with the state of Illinois and their commitment to customer satisfaction.
“We are very proud of the commitment made to ensure the comfort and safety of Illinois travelers,” Secretary Hannig said. “These airports set the bar for excellence and we are happy to partner with them to continue to advance aviation and further safe and efficient air travel throughout Illinois.”
Each year under the guidance of Director Susan Shea, top staff of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics vote to determine which airports should receive Special Recognition as “Airport of the Year.” The criteria for the award selections are based on cooperation and coordination with the Division of Aeronautics by airport management and their staff, the facility safety record, promotion of seminars and aviation events and maintenance of the facility. Director Shea stated that “there are many fine airports and landing facilities throughout the state. It is a difficult task to narrow it down to one winner in each category.”
The Division recognizes airports in the following 7 categories:
• Primary Airports
o Airports with annual enplanements of 10,000 or more passengers.
• Reliever Airports
o Airports primarily designed to serve General and Corporate Aviation in large metropolitan areas, such as Chicago and St. Louis.
• General Aviation Airports – Category A
o Airports which accommodate aircraft needing 5,000 feet or longer of runway length.
• General Aviation Airports – Category B
o Airports important to the aviation system serving aircraft requiring less than 5,000 feet of runway.
• Private – Open to the Public Airports
o Airports that are privately owned and don’t rely on federal or state funds to operate. These airports have to meet the same safety requirements as publicly owned airports.
o All categories including: Public and Private Use Heliports, Hospital Heliports, and RLA Heliports.
• Restaurant of the Year
o The Division’s “Five Prop Award” for fine dining on the airport.
This year’s awards recipients are:
• Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (Springfield, IL) – “Primary Airport of the Year”
• Lake in the Hills Airport (Lake in the Hills, IL) – “Reliever of the Year”
• Quincy Regional Baldwin Field (Quincy, IL) – “General Aviation – Category ‘A’ Airport of the Year”
• Mt. Carmel Municipal Airport (Mt. Carmel, IL) – “General Aviation – Category ‘B’ Airport of the Year”
• Gen-Airpark (Geneseo, IL) – “Private – Open to the Public Airport of the Year”
• OSF St. Francis Hospital (Peoria, IL) – “Heliport of the Year”
• Charlie’s Restaurant (located at Bolingbrook’s Clow International Airport) – “Five Prop - On-Airport Restaurant of the Year”
The Illinois State Aviation System is one of the largest in the nation - comprised of more than 870 individual landing facilities. Illinois is home to everything from O’Hare International Airport, to Municipal General Aviation Airports, to private grass strips in farmers’ backyards. IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics assists with the creation, improvement and continued operations of both private and public airports through financial assistance (public airports), inspection and technical oversight. The Division also provides aviation safety and education programs for pilots, aircraft owners, mechanics and industry professionals.
For more information about IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics, please go to http://www.dot.state.il.us/aero/index.html