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Summary of Economic Impact of General Aviation in Illinois

Denotes general aviation airports.
Denotes general aviation heliports.

General aviation airports support more than 54,800 jobs and a total economic impact of $4.4 billion.   


There are 116 public-use airports in Illinois, supporting 18,601 pilots and 6,112 registered general aviation aircraft in Illinois.


A 2012 Illinois Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study found that general aviation airports in Illinois support 54,887 jobs.


According to a 2012 Illinois Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study, general aviation contributes over $4.4 billion to Illinois’ economy.

Illinois is home to 65 charter flight companies, 98 repair stations, and 13 flight schools. In addition, there are 89 fixed-based operators in the state.

Members of the University Aviation Association include Lewis University in Romeoville, IL; Shawnee Community College in Ullin, IL; Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Carbondale, IL; and the University of Illinois-Institute of Aviation in Savoy, IL.


  • "The airport (Lewis University Airport in Romeoville, IL) is important for economic development in the region. It also allows companies access to fly their people in and out of there." - U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (“Romeoville airport wins grant for upgrades,” Chicago Tribune, August 21, 2013)
  • “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 Pat Quinn (“Local airports win state grants,” The Southern, January 24, 2013)
  • "We think we have the platform on which to build the business and grow over the next few years." - David Bird, DuPage Airport authority's executive director." ("Study: DuPage Airport Boost to Area Economy," Chicago Daily Herald. June 5, 2012)


To view a complete copy of the Illinois Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study, visit the Illinois Department of Transportation site.

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Local Spotlight


For 62 years, the McCarren family has provided printing services for promotional products and materials. To keep their business afloat, Flow-Eze depends on its Cessna 172 to visit customers, vendors, and trade shows from their Rockford, IL office.


Lifeline Pilots

Lifeline Pilots is one of 16 national volunteer pilot organizations that fly patients to hospitals for medical treatment. Over 500 missions are flown per year by its 600 active volunteer general aviation pilots. Through this charitable organization, $800,000 is donated per year for humanitarian efforts. Lifeline Pilots operates out of Peoria, IL.


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