Ryding High: Golfers, CEOs Touch Down At DuPage Airport

WEST CHICAGO, IL — As the world’s most prestigious golf event rolls into suburban Chicago this week, it’s the DuPage Airport that will welcome many of the golf luminaries and corporate sponsors into town for the 39th annual Ryder Cup.


Located just 15 miles away from Medinah Country Club, the west suburban airport will see increased traffic for what is predicted to be the largest grossing event in golf’s history. Airport executives expect to accommodate traffic that includes Ryder Cup players, among them the most elite golfers from the U.S. and Europe, as well as thousands of spectators and reporters. The biennial event is expected to bring an estimated $130 million economic impact to the region.


“Our Flight Center has been working closely with the PGA and the Ryder Cup planners to provide a full service transportation hub for the best golfers in the world and the crowds and media that are expected to attend,“ said David Bird, Executive Director of the DuPage Airport. “The airport has the state-of-the-art facilities and professional staff to handle this major international sporting event.”


The U.S. Ryder Cup team, captained by Davis Love III, will feature such golfers such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and recent Masters Cup winner Bubba Watson, while the European team will feature Rory McIIroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. The Europeans will defend their title at Medinah in what has become one of the most watched sporting events in the world.


The west suburban airport has four active runways, a 1 million-square-foot apron and 2 ILS approaches. The longest runway, which spans 7,570 feet, is the second longest runway in the Chicago area after O’Hare International Airport. Aside from O’Hare and Midway, DuPage is the only facility in the region with a 24-hour control tower, and is also equipped with a 24/7 Airfield Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicle.


The DuPage Flight Center offers a full array of professional services and amenities, including an on-site restaurant and concierge support for over 60 nearby dining, hotel, theater and shopping options. The county is expecting the prestigious event will drive tens of thousands of out-of-town visitors to its restaurants, hotels and shops.


During May’s NATO Summit in Chicago, traffic at the DuPage Airport quadrupled in volume—a spike in activity the airport handled in stride, without a single delay. Last year, the airport earned praise from the National Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who celebrated the facility as an “economic engine” and “a model for the nation.” This year, the facility received the Excellence in Procurement Award from the Airport Consultants Council (ACC).