Chicago Executive Airport (IATA identifier PWK) announced that federal and state authorities will fund a comprehensive project to install cutting-edge airfield safety improvements in 2021. Awarded through the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Airport Improvement Program, the project will be primarily funded by the Federal Aviation Administration at 90% of the project cost, with 5% from IDOT and the remaining 5% from Chicago Executive.
Already one of Illinois’ busiest and safest airfields, this project will enable Chicago Executive to further modernize its lighting, signage, and airfield circuitry systems. Additionally, the FAA-manned control tower will receive an upgraded control panel.
“This grant allows us to continue improving our airfield infrastructure to include the most advanced lighting technologies,” explained Jamie Abbott, Executive Director of Chicago Executive. “We already have a one of the finest operations crews in the entire country, with nationally-recognized safety record of excellence. Now we will have the infrastructure to match.”
The project includes updates to signage, lighting, and electrical circuits. Infrastructure such as electrical regulators will be replaced along with the control tower’s lighting control panel. An Airfield Lighting Control & Monitoring System (ALCMS) will be installed to control the many airfield lighting systems for the runways, taxiways, and aprons. It allows lights to be switched on in groups or individually with varying intensities and pre-programmed time intervals. “We’ve been upgrading our lighting systems every year as our budget allows, but this grant will move our project forward quickly. The safety and operational improvements and integrity of the electric infrastructure will be significant,” reports Andrew Wolanik, the airport’s operations and maintenance supervisor.
The awarding of this grant comes on the heels of one of Chicago Executive’s busiest summers for aircraft operations in years. July and August 2020 were the first back to back months of over 9,000 operations since 2013. August operations were 16% above August 2019.