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posted: 9/12/2012 8:19 PM

Chicago Executive Airport improvements depend on grants

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  • Plans to improve a taxiway at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling hinge on the airport's ability to obtain state and federal funding.

       Plans to improve a taxiway at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling hinge on the airport's ability to obtain state and federal funding.
    GEORGE LECLAIRE | Staff Photographer

 
By Marie Denecke
mdenecke@dailyherald.com

The Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling wants to repave and extend a taxiway to make conditions safer and more convenient for pilots, but completing the $750,000 project depends on the airport's ability to obtain grants.

The taxiway does not sit on airport property. It is owned by the Priester family, which owned the entire airport until Prospect Heights and Wheeling purchased it in 1984. The family, however, is willing to sell the land -- worth roughly $550,000 -- for $1 because its own hangars would have access to the improved taxiway.

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"This is a very good deal for the airport," said airport manager Dennis Rouleau.

The taxiway is currently being used but is in "poor condition," Rouleau said. A repaved taxiway would mean more efficiency, as airplanes would be able to maneuver around each other, and would be safer, he added.

The taxiway also would be extended so that it would connect the hangars from door to door.

However, the airport will reconstruct the taxiway only if it receives federal and state funding. Otherwise, the airport cannot afford its $750,000 price tag, Rouleau said.

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