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DuPage extends runway to cater to larger planes

February 19, 2013, 01:05 pm

In order to continue to attract business, airports have to constantly evolve and improve facilities, particularly catering to business travelers. DuPage Airport is one of the latest airports to increase its facilities, recently completing a secondary runway extension that took six months to construct and five years to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The project was completed in January and added 1,343 feet to the general aviation facility that caters to corporate flight departments and national security operations. The runway is now 6,350 feet and will be able to accommodate larger corporate jets, including Boeing Business Aircraft. The extension cost the DuPage Airport Authority $3.5 million. 

"The extended runway gives us additional flexibility and added safety by allowing us to use the secondary runway as a backup when maintenance is being performed on the primary runway," said airport Executive Director David Bird. "The airport can now handle a larger volume of aircraft, allowing us to increase our customer base and offer continually improved operations."

DuPage Airport's primary runway is 7,570 feet and is the second longest in the Chicago area behind O'Hare International Airport. In addition, the airport was able to utilize a 2013 tax levy abatement to pay $9 million for the widening of its primary runway, along with improvements to the airport's cafe, lobby and pilot's lounge. 

Texas building largest aviation canopy
Ron Henriksen, an aviation enthusiast and businessman, is overseeing construction of the world's largest fixed-base operation canopy at Henriksen Jet Center at Houston Executive Airport in west Houston. Airport officials expect that the canopy will be completed by March. 

Weir Enterprises is constructing the canopy as a part of their ongoing construction to the 22,500-square-foot terminal building for FBO's. The canopy measures 32,800 square feet. 

"Texas continues to be a leader in the nation for aviation expansion and opportunities," said Henriksen. "We've seen robust growth in both Houston and Austin, and it's exciting to be involved in an industry that provides jobs, creates and retains new businesses, and has such a positive impact on the community. Houston Executive Airport's upgrades will directly benefit business in our city for decades to come."

Andrew Perry, executive director for Houston Executive Airport and Austin Executive Airport, said the canopy and new construction of the terminal building will help Houston's economy and increase passenger traffic. 

Extending a runway or offering the world's largest aviation canopy are just some of the advancements in aviation that look to attract more pilots and passengers. Pilots are still reminded, however, that before take off they should look into pilot life insurance

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