Du Page, Kane Politicians Hassle Over Airport
BY PHILIP WATTLEY
A proposal to lengthen the main
runway at Du Page county airport with
the runway "clearance zone" extending
into Kane county, has created an uproar
between politicians in the two counties
regarding the right of one county to use
the air rights of another.
DuPage county officials said the
airport is taxed to capacity, and to
accommodate the increasing number of
executive planes, the east-west runway
will have to be lengthened 1,100 feet.
This would bring the end of the
runway almost to the DuPage-Kane
county line and the Federal Aviation
administration requires an additional
3,500 feet of "clearance zone" which
would extend into Kane county.
Outline Clearance Zone
The clearance zone would include a
rectangular area, 400 by 3,500 feet,
where runway approach lights would be
mounted on T-shaped bars.
The extension would also require a
pie-shaped piece of land, 1,000 feet wide
at the end of the runway extending 2,000
feet. This would be a safety factor in
case an airplane overshot the runway.
State Rep. Lewis V. Morgan Jr [R-
Wheaton] recently introduced a bill to
the state legislature, which allows coun-
ty airports to extend their property of
clearance space into other counties.
Bill Seeks Money
Morgan also introduced a bill which
seeks $500,000 for the Illinois Depart-
ment of Aeronautics to purchase land
needed for the clearance zone and a
third bill to facilitate the issuing of
airport expansion revenue bonds, by
raising the interest rate from 6 per cent
to 6.5 per cent.
The House passed the bills allowing
county airports to expand into an
adjacent county and the bond interest
rate increase. Both bills were sent to a
Senate committee for consideration.
Similiar bills were defeated in a Senate
vote several years ago.
The bill seeking money for the land
requisition passed the House Appropria-
tion committee and is scheduled to come
before the House for a vote, Morgan
DuPage county politicians complained
that while municipal airports could cross
county lines, a county air field could not..
Politicians in Kane county countered
the charge by saying that one county
should not be allowed to take land from
an adjoining county thru condemnation
Morgan said, "Why should a county
line inhibit the growth of a county
airport, when it is so sorely needed." He
said the only way the airport could
expand was toward Kane county,
because the other directions were
blocked by Illinois highway 64,
industrial complex, and the Chicago
Great Western railroad tracks.
The expansion is needed because of
the National Accelerator laboratory,
under construction near Batavia, and
numerous new industries in the area,
which will increase the air traffic at
DuPage county airport, Morgan said.
If the proposal is approved the runway
clearance zone will pass over the newly
developed Central Manufacturing Dis-
trict. At the present time no buildings
have been constructed in the 116 acre
path the clearance area would require.
The DuPage county airport had an
average of 902 take-offs and landings a
dayfor the first two weeks in May,
William R. Donahue, airport. manager
State's 3d Busiest
Aircraft owned by flying schools,
which may land several time within an
hour, make up a portion of the daily
aircraft movement figures. DuPage
county airport is the third busiest in the
state, following O'Hare International
and Midway airports.
A total of 250,121 take-offs and
landings were handled at the airport
during 1968, which was a 43 per cent
increase over 1967, Donahue said.
The airport has three runways, the
4,000 foot east-west runway being the
longest. The airport is equipped with
range finder, which guides pilots to the
airport but not to a specific runway.
If the expansion was allowed, Donahue
said executive planes waiting to land at
O'Hare airport at peak times, could be
diverted to DuPage county airport. He
said beginning June 1, only 10 non-
scheduled aircraft an hour will be
allowed to land or take-off at O'Hare