Chicago Executive Airport's board of directors voted Wednesday night to begin the process to close the field's crosswind runway, 6/24. But news that the board was considering such a move only reached local pilots and AOPA shortly before the meeting. AOPA quickly sent a letter before the meeting opposing the proposal, and local pilots attended the meeting to express their opposition. "We are extremely disappointed by the board's vote to begin the closure process," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports. "This resolution did not receive a fair public hearing of the pros and cons, or the need to maintain this runway. This decision comes at the expense of those aircraft operators who need this runway most-- single-engine piston operators." The crosswind runway is often used in the summer because the winds are typically from the southwest. Just months ago, AOPA President Phil Boyer, at the invitation of this board, traveled to the airport, formerly called Palwaukee Municipal, to talk to board members and city officials about the importance of general aviation airports. "Not a mention from the board came up during that meeting that they were considering this," Dunn said. "We're going fight this runway closure because once a runway is closed, it won't be reopened."
April 20, 2007