Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling is an honorable mention for this year's Balchen/Post Award, for keeping the airport open nonstop during the challenging winter just past. The airport was recognized for "outstanding achievement in airport snow and ice control," by the Northeast chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives. The award is named for aviators Col. Bernt Balchen (1899-1973) and Wiley Post (1914-1996).
"Probably the biggest factor (in winning recognition) is that we stayed open all winter," said CEA Operations Coordinator Kealan Noonan. "We had more than 80 inches of snow where the normal snowfall is 37 inches and we didn't shut down at all." The airport used its fleet of snow-removal vehicles and conducts runway friction surveys to ensure there was sufficient traction for aircraft and vehicles.