Monthly Archives: May 2017

PWK Named Illinois 2017 Reliever Airport of the Year

Chicago Executive Named Reliever Airport of the Year

Wheeling IL, May 8, 2017 – The Illinois Department of Transportation last week named Chicago Executive Airport its 2017 Reliever Airport of the Year, confirming the airport’s critical role in the National Airspace System (NAS). Reliever airports were created decades ago in order to draw air traffic away from already congested airline hub airports such as Chicago O’Hare and Midway.

The DOT announcement highlighted a number of important criteria Chicago Executive was scored on during the competition with nearly a dozen other reliever airports around Illinois. Some of those include the airport’s safety record, airport service provided to the local community and general maintenance and upkeep of the airport itself.

Chicago Executive Airport earned the reliever airport of the year award a decade ago when the facility was still known by its old name Palwaukee Municipal Airport.

The DOT will officially hand the award to the airport’s Executive Director Jamie Abbott on May 25 during this year’s Illinois Aviation Conference in Champaign IL.

Chicago Executive Airport, located nine miles north of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, is jointly owned by the City of Prospect Heights and the Village of Wheeling. Airport governance includes input from a seven-member Board of Directors chosen from the two towns. More information about Chicago Executive Airport is available at chiexec.com.

The FAA Wants You to Text While Flying

That’s right. The FAA wants pilots to text while flying. But not on your phone. A VHF Data Link, is the digital conduit for text messages between ATC and airplanes. Consider it the next step in the Next Generation Air Transportation System. Right now participation is voluntary, but one way or another, that may change once we get past the ADS-B deadline of January 1, 2020 (How are you doing on that, by the way?).

There’s no telling if or when there will be a similar mandate for data communication equipment, but ATC has ways of encouraging aircraft operators to step up. First among them is serving first those aircraft with the desired equipment. And with data comm, being equipped is the only way to take advantage of the service.

For those fuzzy on exactly what data comm is, and what it can do, in simple terms, it’s a text message a controller sends to a pilot. When the system is fully operational, it could be anything from an IFR clearance to reroutes to a alternate destination and just about anything in between. The messages use a set format. Upon receipt, the pilot reads and then pushes a button to accept or decline the instructions. If accepted, the pilot then hits another button to load the instructions into the airplanes flight management system.

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