MOLINE, ILL. – Eight Illinois airports were recognized at the Illinois Aviation Conference, May 15, 2013, in Moline, Illinois. Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider congratulated the “2013 Airport of the Year” award recipients 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,” said Schneider. “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, representatives of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Division of Aeronautics convene to determine which airports should receive special recognition as “Airport of the Year.” The criteria for the award is based on cooperation and coordination by airport management and staff with the Division of Aeronautics, the airport’s safety record and how well it is maintained, and their promotion of seminars and aviation events.
The division recognizes airports in the following seven categories:
Primary Airports – Airports with annual enplanements of 10,000 or more passengers.
Reliever Airports – Airports primarily designed to serve general and corporate aviation in large metropolitan areas, such as Chicago and St. Louis.
General Aviation Airports – Category A – Airports which accommodate aircraft needing more than 6,000 feet of runway length.
General Aviation Airports – Category B – Airports important to the aviation system serving aircraft requiring 6,000 feet or less runway.
Private – Open to the Public Airports – Airports that are privately owned and do not rely on federal or state funds to operate. These airports have to meet the same safety requirements as publicly owned airports.
Heliports – All categories including public and private-use heliports, hospital heliports, and restricted landing area (RLA) heliports.
Restaurant of the Year – The division’s “Five Prop Award” for fine dining on an airport.
This year’s award recipients are as follows:
Chicago Rockford International Airport (Rockford, Ill.) – Primary Airport of the Year.
Chicago Executive Airport (Wheeling and Prospect Heights, Ill.) – Reliever Airport of the Year.
DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport (DeKalb, Ill.) – General Aviation Category A Airport of the Year.
Illinois Valley Regional Airport (Peru, Ill.) – General Aviation Category B Airport of the Year.
Percival Springs (Watson, Ill.) – Private/Open to the Public Airport of the Year.
St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Regional Health Center (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) – Heliport of the Year, Ground Facility.
St. John’s Hospital (Springfield, Ill.) – Heliport of the Year, Rooftop Facility.
The Flight Deck Bar and Grill, located at Rochelle Municipal Airport, received the “Five Prop – On-Airport Restaurant of the Year Award.”
The Illinois State Aviation System is one of the largest in the nation; it’s comprised of more than 870 individual landing facilities. According to a 2012 Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study, aviation contributes nearly $41 billion annually to the Illinois economy.
For more information about IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics, visit www.dot.state.il.us/aero/index.html.