During Chicago NATO Summit, Airport Traffic Escalated in DuPage County
Traffic quadruples at DuPage Airport as a result of security regulations imposed during the NATO Summit in Chicago.
Air traffic quadrupled at the DuPage Airport, as NATO Summit regulations imposed temporary flight restrictions over the city of Chicago last weekend, according to a release Tuesday from the DuPage Airport Authority.
“The volume of traffic far exceeded our expectations,” DuPage Airport Executive Director David Bird said in a statement. “But it speaks well for the airport that we were able to handle it without delays, because we have the runway length, the hangar capacity and the personnel who are capable of handling that volume in stride.”
Last weekend, roadways were closed at times before, during and after the 2012 summt, and the use of public transportation from the suburbs to Chicago was limited.
Bird said that the airport normally sells 7,000 gallons of aviation fuel daily to aircraft using the facility, but sold 28,200 gallons the day of the NATO conference. Most of the flights accommodated by DuPage were diverted from major commercial airports such as O’Hare and Midway where flight patterns were affected by the Temporary Flight Restrictions.
The west suburban airport has four active runways, a one million square foot apron and 2 ILS approaches. The longest runway spans 7,570 feet and is the second longest runway in the Chicago area after O’Hare Airport. Aside from O’Hare and Midway, DuPage is the only facility in the region with a 24-hour control tower, and is also equipped with a 24/7 Airfield Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicle.
The DuPage Flight Center offers professional services and amenities, including an on-site restaurant and catering and concierge support for over 60 nearby dining, hotel, theater and shopping options.
Elsewhere in the City of Chicago, some businesses complained that they had not benefitted from the NATO conference, but the increased traffic at the DuPage facility provided a welcome boost to the suburban airport and local businesses.