The Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR) recorded the highest percentage of growth in traffic volumes of all Illinois airports for the first six months of this year.
Mayor Tom Weisner said the increase is largely due to the relocation of J.A. Air Center from DuPage Airport to Aurora. “J.A. opened their doors in December 2008, and immediately began drawing corporate operators,” Weisner said.
He also credits the airport’s direct tollway access with helping to boost traffic. “A sense of competition among fixed base operators on site also has been a plus,” Weisner said, noting the cost of aviation fuel at the airport has dropped by about $1.25 per gallon in the past six months.
Aurora’s airport experienced a 28% increase in growth in 2009 when compared to the same time period in 2008. Of the 13 airports in Illinois that have control towers, only two others — Decatur and St. Louis Downtown-Parks in Cahokia — reported positive growth. Decatur Airport’s growth was 3% while St Louis Downtown-Parks Airport saw a 7% increase in air traffic.
According to Ken Schroth, Aurora’s director of public works, the increased traffic says that “people are coming here and buying services, which also means we’re generating revenue.”
The City of Aurora operates the Chicago-area airport. “We’re working hard to make the airport self-sufficient,” Schroth said. “And we’re getting there. This is positive reinforcement of the fact that we are going in the right direction.”
“The city has been on a program for many years to develop the infrastructure of this airport,” Weisner said. “That work is paying off because it has created an attractive environment for corporate and recreational users.”
About 200 people are employed at the airport.
For more information: AuroraAirport.com.