DuPage Airport got boost from conference
From Submitted Reports May 27, 2012 5:06PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:32AM
WEST CHICAGO — Increased air traffic diverted as a result of temporary flight restrictions over the city of Chicago during the NATO conference May 21 resulted in quadruple the usual volume at DuPage Airport.
The general aviation facility along Route 64 is home to many corporate flight departments and government operations.
“The volume of traffic far exceeded our expectations,” DuPage Airport Executive Director David Bird said in a press release. “But it speaks well for the airport that we were able to handle it without delays, because we have the runway length, the hangar capacity and the personnel who are capable of handling that volume in stride.”
Bird said the airport normally sells about 7,000 gallons aviation fuel to aircraft using the facility on a typical day. But the day of the NATO conference, it sold 28,200 gallons. Most of the flights accommodated by DuPage were diverted from major commercial airports such as O’Hare and Midway in Chicago where temporary flight restrictions were imposed.
The DuPage airport has four active runways, a one million square-foot apron and two ILS (instrument landing system) approaches. The longest runway spans 7,570 feet and is the second longest runway in the Chicago area after O’Hare. Aside from O’Hare and Midway, DuPage is the only facility in the region with a 24-hour control tower, and is also equipped with a 24/7 Airfield Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicle, according to the release.
The DuPage Flight Center offers professional services and amenities, including an on-site restaurant and catering and concierge support for more than 60 nearby dining, hotel, theater and shopping options.
Elsewhere in the city of Chicago, some businesses complained that they had not benefitted from the NATO conference, but the increased traffic at the DuPage facility provided a welcome boost to the suburban airport and local businesses, the release said.