Chicago Executive Airport Cuts Ribbon on New U.S. Customs Facility

Oct. 5, 2021
$3 million facility provides private, secure site for Customs officers to clear aircraft, passengers.

Representatives from Chicago Executive Airport, the Village of Wheeling and the City of Prospect Heights gathered on Oct. 5 to cut the ribbon on a new, $3 million U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility. Located at the south end of Chicago Executive Airport’s field off Palatine Road, the new facility will serve as a modern, private and secure site for customs officers to clear incoming aircraft and passengers.

“After years of planning and construction, it’s rewarding to see the opening of this world-class CBP facility, which demonstrates our strong commitment to the aviation industry to continually invest in our infrastructure and to improve the customer experience,” said D. Court Harris, chairman of the CEA Board of Directors. “Our airport’s success is built on the strong partnerships and support from the communities of Prospect Heights and Wheeling and the relationships we’ve built with all stakeholders who have a role in our airport ecosystem.”

The new facility includes modern passenger processing areas and provides CBP officers the most advanced working environment. The secure processing and detention areas will also supplement advanced Department of Homeland Security operational support and IT equipment.

“Business and general aviation are emerging very strong from the pandemic,” said CEA Interim Executive Director George Sakas. “We are experiencing record numbers of flights, with our airport partners building new hangars and hiring additional staff. Investments like this new CPB facility make Chicago Executive the airport destination of choice for international travelers to and from downtown Chicago and the suburbs.”

Construction of the 3,400 sq. ft. facility began in November 2020. Improvements include a new apron on the airside of the facility and a new parking lot for the landside.

“From its humble beginnings and dirt runways, the Chicago Executive Airport is now a critical ‘reliever’ airport for the Chicagoland area. The airport’s new customs facility will enable the airport to bring more international visitors, jobs and economic activity to the Tenth District and surrounding communities,” said Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10).

“This new customs facility enhances the Chicago Executive Airport’s value to our region and the state,” said Prospect Heights Mayor Nick Helmer. “Corporate and private fliers will certainly enjoy the convenience offered by our full-service airport.”

“I’d like to congratulate everyone on the successful conclusion of this project, which will help U.S Customs and Border Protection perform its critical duties while expanding the airport’s ability to serve global travelers,” said Wheeling Village President Pat Horcher.