On Thursday, June 9, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited DuPage Airport (DPA) in suburban West Chicago, where he met with airport and other local officials to discuss the importance of successful regional airports to local economies.
DuPage Airport, one of the busiest general aviation facilities in the country and home of numerous corporate flight departments, recently won praise from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for using business principles to upgrade services, pay off all debts and cut the public subsidy by two thirds. The airport, which was losing $2 million a year, is now making $2 million a year in profit, according to airport officials.
“The DuPage Airport is an important economic engine for this community and this region, and we at the Department of Transportation will be full partners in ensuring its continued success,” said LaHood.
A 2010 academic study of the DuPage Airport Authority by political scientist Paul Green and James Creticos, of the Institute for Word and the Economy says that since 2003, the DuPage Airport Authority “has systematically developed a well deserved reputation as a reliable steward of the public trust” by “instituting policies of transparency, professional management and sound financial oversight.”
DuPage Airport Authority Chairman Dan Goodwin thanked LaHood for taking the time to visit the facility. He outlined the airport’s plans to make further improvements, including the widening and rehabilitation of the main runway, which is the longest runway outside of O’Hare in Chicagoland, and lengthening an auxiliary runway to accommodate the current fleet mix of corporate aircraft. DuPage Airport is the third busiest airport in Illinois after O’Hare and Midway.
The airport’s first hangars and runways were developed by the US Navy in 1941 to train pilots for the war effort and the airport was sold to the DuPage County Board after the war.
For more information: DuPageAirport.com