Southern Illinois Airport To Roll Out Red Carpet As Host of AOPA’s Regional Fly-In

Published in Midwest Flyer – August/September 2018 issue

If you are a pilot living in the Midwest, you won’t want to miss AOPA’s Great Lakes Regional Fly-In to be held October 5 and 6, 2018 at Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale, Illinois. An easy flight from most Midwest cities, the fly-in will feature workshops, exhibits, social activities, live music, good food, recreational opportunities in the area, and a great excuse to go flying and explore a new destination.

Located among the hills and lakes of beautiful southern Illinois, Southern Illinois Airport ranks as one of the busiest airports in the state. The airport serves as home base for the nationally acclaimed aviation programs of Southern Illinois University. The airport is owned and operated by the Southern Illinois Airport Authority and managed by Gary R. Shafer and his staff. The airport board consists of five members who are appointed by the mayors of Carbondale and Murphysboro and the Chairman of the Jackson County Board to serve five-year terms.

Southern Illinois Airport, originally known as the Murdale Airport, was founded in 1946. The airport opened on June 1, 1950 with one runway, one business, two buildings and eight employees. Traffic and business has grown considerably over the past six decades, particularly after Southern Illinois University started its aviation program in 1960. Today, Southern Illinois Airport ranks as the fourth busiest airport in the state with 27 buildings and more than 220 employees working for 11 tenants with an annual payroll exceeding $5.6 million and yearly expenditures of $2.5 million which is spent locally. Additionally, according to a study commissioned by the Illinois Division of Aeronautics, the airport contributes more than $82 million in direct and indirect benefits to the region on an annual basis.

The airport features three all-weather runways, an air traffic control tower, and an Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS). The airport is capable of accommodating a variety of aircraft up to and including the Boeing 757, and can hangar aircraft up to and including a Gulfstream V.

For additional information on Southern Illinois Airport call 618-529-1721 or email (

SIU Aviation is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of the AOPA Fly-In and is eager to serve visiting pilots.

For additional information on the fly-in, go to

The AOPA Fly-In is open to pilots and non-pilots alike. Remember to BYOC (Bring Your Own Chocks).

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