June 19, 2013
Bolingbrook, IL Mayor Roger Claar this month cited general aviation (GA) as “playing a critical role” in the lives of the local citizens, businesses and community, in declaring June 2013 “Aviation Appreciation Month.”
GA, including business aviation, contributes $5.2 million annually to Bolingbrook and its surrounding communities, and supports 132 jobs. An Illinois Department of Transportation study showed the city’s GA-only Clow International Airport has a statewide economic impact of $13 million.
“The village of Bolingbrook has a significant interest in the continued vitality of Bolingbrook’s Clow International Airport, its businesses, organizations and the Illinois Aviation Museum located on the premises,” the mayor wrote in his proclamation.
Bolingbrook is considered a suburb of Chicago, but is the 17th-largest incorporated community in Illinois, with more than 73,000 residents. The village bought Clow International Airport in 2004[comma needed]and plans to widen the existing runway, add a second runway, a taxiway and visual approach slope indicator lights, among other improvements. The airport sees more than 70,000 takeoffs and landings annually, all by GA aircraft.
Due to its proximity to Chicago-area airports, Clow International is popular with business aircraft operators flying to or from the west and southwest side of Chicago.
In his proclamation, Claar specifically mentioned the airport’s “Cavalcade of Planes,” an aviation celebration held annually during the first weekend in June and sponsored by numerous local and regional businesses. The two-day aviation event features representative GA aircraft from various eras, and this year offered citizens rides in a restored Ford Tri-Motor.
Claar welcomed the Cavalcade of Planes as “one of the largest events in the community that draws people from a large area… promotes our community and adds to continued growth and commerce.”
Claar’s proclamation is similar to those issued by other mayors across the country whom have recognized the importance of GA to their communities. In addition, top officials of 48 states have issued state-level proclamations, which contain at least some of the tenets of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, an education initiative launched in 2009 by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.