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AOPA involvement helps save Chicago-area airportAOPA involvement helps save Chicago-area airport

AOPA involvement helps save Chicago-area airport

Apr. 15, 2004 - Encouraged by a December 2003 letter from AOPA President Phil Boyer, the village of Bolingbrook, Ill., is finalizing purchase - and preservation - of historic Clow International Airport in the fast-growing community southwest of Chicago.

Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar told the Chicago Daily Herald "that the airport will do more for the village than the alternative - 100 new houses or some big-box retailers." The village will spend $13.2 million on buying the 76-acre airport from a private developer and intends to upgrade the facility with an additional $3.8 million on new runway lights, weather stations, and additional hangars. The village plan also calls for lengthening the single runway by 400 feet.

The AOPA letter urged Mayor Claar to seek federal funding for the airport, a move that would ensure the airport's future for the 20-year grant assurance period. "With the closure of Meigs Field and the planned expansion of O'Hare International, now more than ever, this region needs to preserve its remaining general aviation airports," Boyer wrote.

Village officials hope to close the sale later this month, and while the plan calls for seeking reliever-airport status for Clow, the focus will remain on serving core AOPA member aircraft. "We're looking for general aviation," Mayor Clow told the Herald. "We'll take the occasional pilots who want to take a plane out for the weekend.

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