CHICAGO, ILL. – Seven Illinois airports are winners of the “2015 Airport of the Year” awards sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). For a wide variety of categories, Decatur Airport, DuPage Airport, Marshall County Airport, Mount Vernon Airport, Northwest Community Airport, Poplar Grove Airport, and Quincy Regional Airport, were all recognized on May 14, 2015 at the Illinois Aviation Conference, held in Rockford. These airports were acknowledged for their accomplishments over the past year, including an outstanding partnership with the State of Illinois and a commitment to customer safety and satisfaction.
“Safety is always the first priority, and these airports have upheld this value while also staying firmly committed to ensuring the comfort for and approval of Illinois travelers,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We are pleased to work closely with these airport operators and facilities, which strive to advance the aviation industry and transportation efficiency, locally within Illinois, as well as across the country and internationally.”
The annual awards are based on criteria established by senior staff at IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics. Among the award considerations are cooperation and coordination with the Division of Aeronautics by airport management and staff, the facility’s safety record, promotion of seminars and aviation events, and maintenance of the facility.
“It is our way of recognizing the tremendous dedication to the aviation community exhibited by airports and heliports throughout Illinois,” said IDOT Interim Aeronautics Director Steven M. Young. “We wish sincere congratulations to all of this year’s recipients.”
The airports were recognized in the following seven categories:
• Primary Airports – Airports with annual enplanements of 10,000 or more passengers. Quincy Regional Airport, recipient. Jarred Hester, Airport Manager.
• Reliever Airports – Airports primarily designed to serve general and corporate aviation in large metropolitan areas. DuPage Airport, recipient. David Bird, Executive Director, DuPage Airport Authority.
• General Aviation Airports – Airports with a runway greater than 5,000 feet. Mount Vernon Airport, recipient. Chris Collins, Airport Director.
• General Aviation Airports – Airports with a runway 5,000 feet or less. Marshall County Airport, recipient. Charles L. Allen, President, Marshall County Airport Board.
• Private – Open to the Public Airports. Poplar Grove Airport, recipient. Steve Thomas, Owner.
• Heliports – All categories including public and private-use heliports, hospital heliports, and restricted landing area heliports. Northwest Community Hospital, recipient. Holly Rasche, Security Operations Coordinator, Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights, Illinois.
In addition, an airport restaurant was named “Restaurant of the Year,” and received the division’s “Five Prop Award” for fine dining. The Main Hangar Restaurant at the Decatur Airport, recipient. Francesca LaMonica, manager.
The Illinois Aviation System is one of the largest in the nation, comprised of more than 830 individual landing facilities. Illinois is home to everything from O’Hare International Airport to general aviation airports and private grass airstrips.
According to a 2012 Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study, aviation contributes nearly $41 billion annually to the Illinois economy.
For more information about the IDOT Division of Aeronautics, visit www.idot.illinois.gov.