In The Land of Lincoln… Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport

Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport is located in the heart of Sangamon County, Illinois, approximately 3 miles north of the city of Springfield, Illinois. The original development at Capital Airport was initiated in 1946 and completed in 1947 as the result of a cooperative effort between the federal Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Springfield Airport Authority. Primary federal interest in the development was based on the Defense Landing Area program which was a World War II program designed to assist communities in developing airport facilities, which could readily be taken over for defense purposes if conditions of national security warranted such a need. Many airports constructed under this program were used for military purposes during World War II and, following the war, were returned to the local public sponsor for operation. Capital Airport has never been operated as a military facility except for Air National Guard operations, but that option is still available.

Today, Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport covers over 2400 acres and has three runways: 4/22 is 8,001 by 150 feet of concrete; 13/31 is 7,400 by 150 feet of asphalt; and 18/36 is 5300 by 150 feet of asphalt/concrete. Runway 4/22 and 13/31 have Category I ILS approaches.

In 2005, the airport’s official name was changed to honor a long-time Springfield resident and the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

Three airlines currently serve the airport: American Eagle, United Express, and Direct Air.

For pilots looking for an airport restaurant, try the “Subway Restaurant,” open daily in the main terminal, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hertz, Avis, Budget, National, Alamo and Enterprise car rental companies are also located in the main terminal building.

Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport is home to the 183rd Fighter Wing of the Illinois Air National Guard. There’s a Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility (CIRF) to repair and maintain General Electric F110 turbofan engines for F-16 aircraft assigned to Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force units.

There is a lot of general aviation presence at the airport, including 151 T-hangars and eight (8) larger corporate hangars.

StandardAero is one of the largest independent aircraft maintenance, refurbishment and overhaul (MRO) service businesses in the world, and their facility at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport provides complete and comprehensive services on many corporate jet aircraft, including engines, auxiliary power units, airframes, avionics, and interiors.

There are plenty of airport development projects underway including construction of a new main entrance to the Illinois Air National Guard base, and replacement of the perimeter fence with a 10-foot fence to enhance wildlife protection and airport security. Two feet of the fence will be buried underground to prevent burrowing by animals.

Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport has an energy savings performance contract project underway to replace aging HVAC systems with state-of-the-art HVAC equipment, and upgrade interior and exterior lighting with energy efficient and LED fixtures. The project also includes an automation system for buildings, boiler replacement and various other water conservation projects. Plans are also underway to install a second jet bridge at an airline-boarding gate to accommodate larger commercial carriers and increase passenger traffic in the main terminal. The airport has also recently received bids to start the first phase of a major general aviation ramp rehabilitation project in the airport’s north quadrant.

Other tenants include McClelland Aviation Company, Inc. (; and Landmark Aviation (

For those interested in the life and times of President Abraham Lincoln, there is a plethora of places to visit. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, Lincoln’s Home, Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, and Lincoln’s Tomb, are just a few places to visit. Visitors to the Old State Capitol and the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices can see first hand where Lincoln worked.

Other attractions include the Dana Thomas House designed by nationally acclaimed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, and the Vachel Lindsey Home (

Mark Hanna

Mark Hanna has been the executive director for the Springfield Airport Authority at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (SPI) since January 2007. From 1998 – 2007, he served as the Airport Director for the City of Quincy, Illinois at the Quincy Regional Airport/Baldwin Field (UIN). Hanna started his career in airport management as an assistant airport manager intern at Rusk County Airport in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, during his final year of college.  After graduating from the University of North Dakota he served as an instructor for the North Dakota Army National Guard before taking a position at Mason City Municipal Airport, Mason City, Iowa.

Mark Hanna holds a Master of Business Administration from Quincy University, Quincy, Ill., and a Bachelor of Business Administration with majors in airport administration and management from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.

Hanna is married and he and his wife have two sons.

This entry was posted in Airports, All Features, Aug/Sept 2011, Features and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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