Growing demand for convenient alternatives to Chicagoland’s O’Hare and Midway airports has turned Chicago-Romeoville (KLOT) into a bona fide airspace reliever, as the fixed base operator readies to double the size of its corporate aircraft storage and maintenance facility this May.
A Phillips 66 Aviation-branded dealer, KLOT has evolved steadily since its days as a university-owned and operated FBO. The Joliet Regional Port District bought the 172-acre airport in 1989, and the runways have grown to handle nearly anything that can fly – with a primary 6,500-foot, 130,000-pound capacity runway and an east-west 5,700-foot runway.
The airfield is nestled inside a triangle of major interstate highways, and bisected by the Chicago Ship Canal and three major rail lines connected to two international, intermodal shipping yards. At least 20 Fortune 500 companies operate a plant or facility within 20 miles of the Chicago-Romeoville FBO, according to Chris Lawson, General Manager for the airport.
“With our hangar expansion, we will be able to accommodate multiple new tenants with various sized aircraft,” explains Lawson. “With our strategic location, we’re seeing more corporate flight departments discovering KLOT as a convenient alternative to other Chicagoland airfields.”
Well before corporate hangar expansion plans were announced, KLOT had already carved out a niche as a major flight host for professional race teams, fans and amateurs. Chicagoland Speedway is a 10-minute drive south, and the FBO’s ramps fill with fan and pro team planes when the national stock car circuit hits the Windy City twice a year. The nation’s top dragsters and their fans also fly into the FBO when the pros compete at nearby Route 66 Dragway. Amateurs who want to burn rubber head down the road to the Joliet Autobahn.
Flying golfers also know Chicago-Romeoville well. The airport’s golf course beckons from the approach end of Runway 2, complete with a banquet hall and restaurant. Then there’s the legendary Dubsdread professional course at Cog Hill in Lemont – which has hosted the Western Open pro tournament – drawing golfers from across the country to the nearby FBO.
A few miles drive also puts visitors at the Argonne National Laboratory, two Joliet casinos, the Rialto Theater and the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre music venue.
Arrow Energy, the Great Lakes fuels marketer for Phillips 66 Aviation, supplies Jet A and 100LL to KLOT. Arrow also supplies aviation fuel to dozens of other Phillips 66-branded FBOs across seven states in the Great Lakes region.