Construction begins on DuPage runway project

After a five-year process to obtain FAA approvals, DuPage Airport (DPA) just west of Chicago has begun construction to extend its second longest runway.

“The airport currently has the second longest runway in Chicagoland after O’Hare, and the lengthened secondary runway will give us further operational flexibility and added safety,” says Executive Airport Director David Bird.

The runway will be extended 1,343 feet and will span 6,350 feet upon completion, with the capability to accommodate the largest corporate jets, such as the Boeing Business Aircraft.

The project will take an estimated four months to complete and will employ 33 construction workers. The construction is not expected to impact flight operations, Bird added. The project’s $3.5 million cost is 100% funded with DuPage Airport Authority revenue.

“This construction project allows us to use our extended secondary runway as a backup when maintenance is being performed on the primary runway,” says Bird. “Upon completion, we will have sufficient runway length so that we can close the primary runway without compromising safety and still provide the ability to accommodate all flight operations.”

The five-year wait for FAA approval on the project was standard, according to Bird. Despite the fact that the project is locally funded, the FAA requires approval every step of the way, including changes in the airport master plan, public hearings and environmental studies that evaluate noise and other environmental impacts, he noted.

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