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posted: 2/19/2019 1:00 AM

No specific plans for runway extension

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I write in response to two recent publications in the Daily Herald. Both use similar language to intimate that there is a proposal to extend runways at Chicago Executive Airport.

Language to this effect is simply inaccurate, although I know that it is likely unintentional. Let me be indisputably clear. There is no current resolution or vote in front of the CEA Board of Directors or the municipalities of Wheeling and Prospect Heights to extend any runway of the airport.

CEA is in the final stage of a five-year master planning study to ensure the safety, longevity, and financial viability of this community asset for the next 30 years. This process is similar to something a municipality does through a comprehensive plan, or a for-profit company achieves through a McKinsey 7S study. The study -- which has an FAA-prescribed methodology -- looks at all aspects of the airport, including runways, safety and environmental measures, noise contour lines, vacant or underdeveloped property on the airfield, and the current airport layout. While runway length is being studied, it is simply an information-gathering exercise on various options.

As an Army combat veteran who saw firsthand the dangers of a muffled press in Afghanistan, transparency is extremely important to me and is a core value of our organization. CEA has hosted multiple open houses and stakeholder involvement groups around issues such as noise and the master planning process. We're committed to communicating with the public about the actions being taken by the team at CEA to ensure our wonderful community asset is being maximized for the residents of both Wheeling and Prospect Heights.

D. Court Harris, Chairman Chicago Executive Airport