From Illinois Business Journal news services
SPRINGFIELD – St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton is among airports taking home top honors this year from the state.
Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn this week congratulated the 2016 Airport of the Year award recipients for their accomplishments and their partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation to provide outstanding service to their customers.
“We are proud of our aviation community’s dedication to support the state’s economy by offering an invaluable public service,” Blankenhorn said. “These airports set the bar for excellence. We are happy to partner with them to provide safe, efficient air travel throughout the state.”
The criteria for the award selections include: coordination with IDOT by airport management, facility safety record, maintenance, and the promotion of seminars and aviation events. This year’s award recipients were announced earlier this month at IDOT’s annual Illinois Aviation Conference at Southern Illinois University:
• Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Chicago) “Primary Airport of the Year”
• St. Louis Regional Airport (East Alton/Bethalto) “Reliever Airport of the Year”
• Whiteside County Airport (Sterling/Rock Falls) “General Aviation Airport of the Year”
• Centralia Municipal Airport (Centralia) “General Aviation Airport of the Year”
• Zelmer Memorial Airport (Palmyra) “Private – Open to the Public Airport of the Year”
• Clay County Hospital (Flora) “Heliport of the Year”
• Airport Steak House (Coles County Memorial Airport) “Restaurant of the Year”
The Illinois aviation system is one of the largest in the nation, composed of more than 830 landing facilities. Previous IDOT studies have shown that aviation contributes nearly $41 billion to the state economy every year.
IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics assists with the creation, improvement and continued operations of public and private airports, while providing aviation safety and education programs to pilots, aircraft owners, mechanics, and industry professionals.