Skip to main content

Agency Alert

Welcome to the new IDOT home page.  Our location has changed, please update any bookmarks.

Press Releases

Airport of the Year awards announced by IDOT

Press Release - Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Honors highlight commitment to safety, customer satisfaction

SPRINGFIELD - Reflecting the importance and vitality of the state's aviation system, six airports have received Airport of the Year awards from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The awards were presented today during the Illinois Public Airports Association Fall Conference in Galena.

"Illinois serves as the nexus of North America's transportation network, with aviation playing a key role in moving passengers and freight around the state, country and world," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "Our aviation partners, from massive international airports to smaller regional facilities to a single grass landing strip, are vital to our state's economy and mobility. These awards represent our thanks for the services they provide."

The facilities were selected because of their accomplishments, including an outstanding partnership with IDOT and a strong commitment to customer safety and satisfaction. Among the award considerations are cooperation and coordination with the state, safety record, maintenance of the facility, and promotion of aviation and educational events.

The 2023 recipients are:
  • Willard Airport, Champaign                                     Primary Airport of the Year
  • Lewis University Airport,                                         Romeoville Reliever Airport of the Year
  • Mount Vernon Outland Airport                                Large General Aviation Airport of the Year
  • Salem-Leckrone Field                                             Small General Aviation Airport of the Year
  • Tri-County Airport, Yates City                                  Private Airport of the Year
  • Vertiport Chicago                                                    Heliport of the Year -
Illinois is home to 100 public-use airports and heliports, with nearly 3,000 aircraft registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. The system of airports supports more than 492,000 jobs, with a combined payroll of $21.9 billion and a total economic impact of $95.4 billion. Across the state, there are over 700 aviation facilities, including heliports, balloon, glider and ultra-light landing facilities, and grass landing strips.

Through Gov. Pritzker's historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program, IDOT is investing a total of $150 million in aviation. In 2021, the governor announced a $94 million commitment to airports throughout the state, unlocking $11.5 million in local contributions for a combined investment of $105 million. The funding was the largest statewide capital investment for airports in state history.

To learn more about aviation in Illinois and the Illinois Aviation System Plan, visit