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Airport & Heliport Certification

Cert-04.jpgThe role of IDOT's Division of Aeronautics is to regulate and supervise aeronautics within this state, subject to the provisions of this Illinois Aeronautics Act. IDOT is empowered and directed to encourage, foster, and assist in the development of aeronautics in this state and to encourage the establishment of airports and other air navigation facilities. The division will classify and approve airports and restricted landing areas and any alterations or extensions thereof (Illinois Aeronautics Act 5, Section 26 and Section 42). It shall be unlawful for any municipality or other political subdivision, or officer or employee thereof, or for any person, to make any alteration or extension of an existing airport or restricted landing area, or to use or operate any airport or restricted landing area (Illinois Aeronautics Act 5, Section 47).

Landing Area Certification

The application process for an original certificate of approval is outlined in detail in Section 14.115 of the Aviation Safety Administrative Rule, 92 Illinois Adm. code 14.

Initial Inspection

The applicant must personally contact the division either by phone at (217) 785-8516, in writing at

1 Langhorne Bond Drive
Capital Airport
Springfield, IL 62707

or by email at dot.aero@illinois.gov to request an initial inspection of the site proposed to be used for the airport, heliport, or Restricted Landing Area (RLA). Division personnel will visit the proposed site, as early as division priorities will allow, to determine if the minimum standards for the operation of an airport, heliport or RLA can be achieved. These standards are described in Section 14.510(a), 610(a), 710(a), or 810(a) of the Aviation Safety Administrative Rule.

Classification of Landing Areas

Landing areas fall into categories: Public Use Airports, Private Use Airports and Restricted Landing Areas. A “Public Use” airport is open to the general public. A “Private Use” airport is not open to the general public. A RLA means any area of land, water, or both that is used or made available for the landing and takeoff of aircraft that is intended for private use. A RLA is generally used only by the Certificate Holder.

Application Form

After an initial inspection has been performed and the site is determined to be acceptable under Part 14 Aviation Safety, an Application for Certificate of Approval form (Form AER 2059 for an airport or RLA or Form AER 2060 for a heliport) must be completed and signed, and the original form must be sent to the division. The Application for Certificate Approval form asks if zoning has been approved. Local zoning approval is required before Notice of Proposed Landing Area (form 7480) will be filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If zoning approval is not required, verification from the zoning authority (in the form of a letter or email) is required. Once all of the information is gathered for the proposed landing area, and local zoning has approved the facility, personnel from the division of Aeronautics will begin working on Notice of Proposed Landing Area (form 7480), which is found on the FAA website.

Notice and Order

After a favorable FAA airspace determination is received, the division will publish a Notice in a newspaper in the county in which the airstrip or helipad is to be established. This allows interested parties to file an objection or to comment on the proposed landing area. Objections or comments must be submitted to the division of Aeronautics within 15 days after publication of the Notice. The division will consider any comments or opposition received within 15 days after the date of publication.


The proponent will have 18 months to complete construction of the landing area. If construction cannot be completed within this timeframe, a Request for Extension of Time for Proposed Airport/RLA/Heliport (AER 2061) form must be submitted to the division.

Final Inspection

After construction is complete a final inspection will be conducted. If any problems are found during the final inspection, the proponent will be notified. Once all items are addressed and the landing facility is found to be in compliance the Certificate of Approval will be issued.

Recurrent Inspections

All landing facilities are expected to be kept in compliance with the requirements set forth in the Illinois Aviation Safety Rules (Aviation Safety Administrative Rule, 92 Illinois Adm. code 14). Periodic inspections will be conducted. If the facility is found to be out of compliance, a letter will be sent so corrections can be made.

Modification, Transfer or Rescission of Landing Areas


Certificates of approval shall be issued in the name of the applicant and shall be transferable upon a change of ownership or control of the airport or restricted landing area only after approval of the department (Illinois Aeronautics Act 5, Section 42). Application to Transfer Certificate of Approval of a RLA/Airport/Heliport (form AER 2058) shall be submitted to the division to request the transfer.


No person shall make an extension or alteration to an existing airport or RLA that will require a modification of the Certificate of Approval without first having secured an order from the division approving the extension or alteration. The Certificate Holder shall complete and submit to the division an Application for Approval of Extension or Alteration to an Airport or RLA form (form AER 2057) stating the nature of the proposed extension or alteration to the airport or RLA in the application.

The proponent will have 18 months to complete the modification. If construction cannot be completed within this timeframe, a Request for Extension of Time for Airport/RLA/Heliport Alteration/Extension (form AER 2062) form must be submitted to the division.


The Certificate Holder, the property owner, and the division each have the authority to request that a Certificate of Approval to operate an airport or RLA in Illinois be rescinded. The Certificate Holder shall submit a completed Rescission of Certificate of Approval form (form AER 2064) authorizing the closing of an airport or RLA and requesting that the division rescind the Certificate of Approval.


The division may waive strict compliance with any portion of Part 14 Aviation Safety in connection with any particular application or request for a waiver, if the applicant demonstrates that the waiver is necessary; will not adversely affect air traffic; will not interfere with future development of the airport or RLA; will not substantially impair the safety of the public's use of the airport; and will not diminish the safety of those using or living near the airport, heliport, or RLA.

The applicant must complete and sign an Application for Waiver form (Form AER 2056) that shall be submitted with the application for Certificate of Approval for an airport or RLA, or for an extension or alteration of an existing airport or RLA.