Wheeling voters oppose runway extension that airport has already disavowed

Updated 4/2/2019 11:53 PM

Wheeling voters fired a warning shoot about any possible runway extensions at Chicago Executive Airport, according to unofficial results in Tuesday's election.

With all precincts reporting, results showed 1,585 residents voted against any expansion, with 428 voters supporting it in an advisory referendum. The ballot question asked if the Wheeling village board should vote to approve runway expansion beyond the existing roadways bordering Chicago Executive Airport.


The referendum came a month after airport officials announced March 8 they were dropping any consideration of runway expansion beyond current airport boundaries.

That followed action from Prospect Heights Mayor Nick Helmer and Wheeling Village President Pat Horcher, who said no one on either towns' board supported the consideration of expanded boundaries. The two towns co-own the airport.

Runway extension worries surfaced as the airport updates its master plan, which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Chicago Executive officials said any concerns were mistaken and that an update to the plan was meant to start with "unconstrained ideas" about the future of the facility that would then be evaluated by community leaders and residents.

"This study considers a wide assortment of scenarios for possible changes to the airport's layout and operations, which are analyzed in order to get the maximum value from the update and to achieve a result that will provide a vision for the coming decades," CEA board Chairman Court Harris said March 8.

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