January 23, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider today announced a $9 million investment that will create hundreds of construction jobs while improving 19 airports across the state. Illinois' State-Local Airport Improvement Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 will rehabilitate aging infrastructure, improve accessibility for travelers and businesses and maximize economic development opportunities at Illinois airports from Cairo to Moline. The program is funded by $7.3 million from Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital program and a local match of $1.6 million.
"Maintaining and improving Illinois' aviation infrastructure is vitally important to meeting the needs of travelers and small businesses, and ensuring the safety of airport workers," Governor Quinn said. "Airports are a local economic engine for communities, regional trades and professional services, and are essential to making sure Illinois remains competitive in today's growing economy. This major investment will generate hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, improve accessibility and further strengthen Illinois' position as a national leader in infrastructure."
The wide variety of airport improvement projects include the rehabilitation of a terminal and a number of taxiways, aircraft parking ramps and entrance roads and the modification of major parking lots. In addition, the construction of an automatic weather observation system in Mt. Sterling will significantly improve safety for the flying public.
"We are extremely proud to announce the FY13 State-Local Airport Improvement Program, and remain committed to making the financial investments needed to maintain and improve our existing aviation infrastructure," Secretary Schneider said. "This critically important maintenance program for airports statewide would not have been possible without Governor Quinn's leadership and his Illinois Jobs Now! plan."
Illinois' aviation system is comprised of nearly 80 publicly-owned airports and is vital to a healthy economy. A recent economic impact study reported that Illinois airports contribute more than $40 billion to local economies: http://illinoisairportsmeanbusiness.com/IL-Econ_TechnicalReport.pdf