A little more than a decade after former Mayor Richard Daley illegally destroyed Meigs Field lakefront airport, two new heliports are being constructed in Chicago less than two miles apart. Both are slated to open next summer.
Chicago metropolitan area
The ATC committee of the Chicago Area Business Aviation Association (CABAA) can chalk up another win for local flight crews when a series of new IFR departure procedures for Chicago satellite airports take effect on October 17.
The airport-owned FBO at DuPage Airport is expected to complete its extensive upgrade this month. The 20-month project at the DuPage Flight Center cost approximately $4.2 million and will substantially improve the functionality and aesthetics of the structure as well as improve its safety and convenience, according to the airport authority. Among the improvements at the 63,000-sq-ft West Chicago facility are new customer entrances, crew lounges, on-site car rental, new U.S. Customs facilities, a new meeting room and upgrades to the reception area.
Officials at Chicago-area DuPage Airport announced the completion of a months-long project to extend the length of its secondary runway by 1,343 feet, to 6,443 feet, allowing it to accommodate the largest corporate jets and bizliners such as the BBJ and ACJ. The $3.5 million project was funded entirely by the airport authority.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) for Chicago and its surrounding region has publicly charged United Airlines and American Airlines with running “sham” business operations conceived to circumvent city and RTA sales taxes. In a lawsuit filed against United last week, the RTA–a municipal corporation of government that oversees the Chicago area’s public transportation departments–claimed that the airline established shell offices in the town of Sycamore, Illinois, where it pays a total tax rate of 8 percent.
J.A. Air Center, a Chicago-area FBO, will give away a Garmin GPSMAP 696 here at the NBAA Convention. Attendees can register at the company’s booth (No. 2613) during the show to win the portable navigator, valued at $3,295. J.A. Air Center, based at Aurora Municipal Airport, says the multi-function 696 represents the complete range of services the FBO offers customers.
For many years, J.A. Air Center was known solely for its maintenance and avionics services, which since 1975 have been housed at Dupage Airport in West Chicago, Ill.
After buying Aurora Jet Center at Aurora State Airport in Oregon, new owner Metal Innovations signed a fuel provider agreement with Western Petroleum, and the FBO became a member of ExxonMobil’s Avitat network. Aurora is a convenient alternative airport for Portland-area traffic, only 22 nm from Portland International Airport and with a 5,000-foot runway. On November 1, Aurora Jet Center will open a new pilot lounge and dayrooms.
After 33 years at DuPage Airport in Chicago, FBO J.A. Air Center is in the midst of a move and major expansion that will bring the rejuvenated business to the fast-growing Chicagolands Aurora Municipal Airport on December 1.
T-Bird Aviation moved into its new facility earlier this summer, following less than one year of construction at DuPage County Airport outside Chicago. The new complex includes some 48,000 sq ft of hangar space and 6,500 sq ft of office area. Conference rooms are available for clients of the charter specialist. Security measures at the new buildings include employee-specific access cards.
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