DuPage Airport Widening Main Runway to Accommodate Larger Aircraft

April 3, 2014

West Chicago’s DuPage Airport (DPA) is preparing to widen its 7,570-foot-long primary runway from 100 feet to 150 feet across.

Construction is slated to begin in mid-May for completion by Dec. 1, said David Bird, executive director of the DuPage Airport Authority. The primary runway at DuPage Airport is the longest in the area outside of O’Hare International Airport.

DuPage is home to several business flight departments, and the widened runway will make the airport viable for operators of larger business jets to consider using DuPage.

“DuPage Airport is very efficient and well run, and it has done an outstanding job of optimizing its assets to improve its infrastructure,” said Bob Quinn, NBAA’s central region representative. “All the Chicago-area reliever airports have done a significant amount of work in the past five or 10 years to improve their infrastructure and capabilities.”

Widening the longest of its four runways is part of the DuPage Airport Authority’s forward-looking strategy to capture growing business aviation traffic. In 2012, DuPage officials lengthen the airport’s secondary runway to 6,430 feet, so that it would be able to accommodate traffic during this year’s construction on the primary runway.

“We developed this plan to give us operational flexibility and capacity, because we are building for the future,” said Bird. “All the forecasts show growth in business aviation, and we’re planning to capture as much of that growth as we can.”