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Patrick J. Quinn, Governor
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Bureau of Airport Engineering

The Bureau of Airport Engineering oversees the planning, programming, environmental analysis, design, construction, land acquisition and materials certification for publicly owned airports in Illinois.  The bureau has five sections that are listed below:
  • Airport Planning and Programming Section - The Airport Planning and Programming Section, as required by state law, oversees the planning and development of the Illinois State Airport System (ISAS), one of the largest in the United States. ISAS includes a range of airport sizes and configurations.

    Airport Planning and Programming reviews and produces numerous reports and recommendations and has oversight on:

    • Illinois Airport Budget preparation & oversight
    • Illinois State Aviation System Plan (ISASP)
    • Illinois Airport Pavement Management System (PMS)
    • Illinois Airport Hazard Zoning Regulations (AHZR)
    • Airport Master Plan (AMP) preparation
    • Airport Layout Plan (ALP) preparation
    • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Planning preparation
    • Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 77 Airspace Coordination
    • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review & approval
    • Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 150 Noise Compatibility Studies
  • Airport Design Section - The Airport Design Section ensures that all airport improvement projects are designed and specified in a professional, cost effective manner and are in accordance with state and federal criteria. The section also oversees all aspects of airport improvement projects from their announcement in the Illinois Airport Improvement Program through the letting and award process.

    The section ensures that all design activities comply with all regulations in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Advisory Circulars and with State standards and laws.

    Some of the other duties of the section include:

    • Reviewing projects with the Planning Section to be included in the five year proposed Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
    • Pre-qualifying consulting engineering firms for airport design and construction inspection services.
    • The Design Section is also responsible for writing and updating the Standard Specifications for Construction of Airports.
    • Setting up and presiding over pre-design meetings.
    • Reviewing and approving Engineering Agreements between the airport sponsors and the consulting engineering firms.
    • Reviewing and approving Engineering Reports to ensure that all feasible design and construction alternatives have been identified, explored and justified. The final design plans and specifications cannot be started until this approval is granted.
    • Reviewing and approving the plans and specifications to ensure that they strictly adhere to the guidelines in the engineering report and that they are complete and suitable for public letting.
    • Reviewing the bids for all projects let and making the award or rejecting the bid.
    • Conducting negotiations with the low bidder to ensure the lowest possible construction costs.
    • Reviewing and approving design invoices submitted by the consultant engineering firms.
    • Oversight on Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE).
  • Airport Construction Section - The Airport Construction Section administers the construction phase of airport improvement projects involving federal and/or state funds. This phase begins when a construction project is awarded to the low bid contractor and carriers.  The section, through onsite visits and cooperation with the consulting engineers, ensures that the airport improvement projects are constructed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and that FAA and IDOT policies are followed.

    The section ensures that all construction activities comply with the regulations contained in the Federal Aviation Administration's Advisory Circulars. Also, the consulting engineers must submit the proper paperwork in accordance with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics Construction Policy and Procedures Manual.

    Some of the duties of the section include:

    • Setting up and presiding over pre-construction and final inspection meetings.
    • Approving contractor construction progress payments.
    • Reviewing and approving construction inspection invoices submitted by the consulting engineer.
    • Approving or disapproving any extra work to the contract and ensuring the proposed change is eligible for state and/or federal funding.
    • Resolving construction problems and contractor claims.
    • Verifying that the approved safety plan is being followed.
    • Processing final documentation for the construction projects, which includes final acceptance of the project, agreement of quantities with the contractor, approving contract time extensions and/or assessing liquidated damages, and reviewing any engineering amendments.
  • Airport Materials Section - The Airport Materials Section assures that high quality materials meeting the requirements of the contract specifications are used for the construction of airports and airport improvement projects. The section conducts onsite visits and cooperates with consulting engineers, airport managers, contractors and all those involved in completing the project and that FAA and IDOT policies are followed.

    Some duties of the section include:

    • Establishing and updating all materials related policies, specifications & forms in accordance with FAA & IDOT criteria.
    • Reviewing and approving all job mix formulas for PCC and bituminous mixtures.
    • Reviewing and approving all proposed changes in materials.
    • Reviewing and approving all material substitutions.
    • Reviewing and approving material quality control plans.
    • Completing a materials review and subsequent Materials Certification of all materials.
    • Establish and update the Manual of Documentation for Airport Materials.
    • Evaluate new materials and material technology for application to airport construction.
  • Airport Land Acquisition Section - The Airport Land Acquisition Section plans and administers all airport land purchase functions for the Division. Land Acquisition ensures that all airport land purchases using federal and state funds conform to established laws, policies and procedures. The section reviews all appraisals, negotiations, acquisitions and relocation assistance requirements for all land required to maintain the Illinois Airport System Plan.

    This section ensures that all land and aviation easement acquisition activities are conducted in accordance with FAA policies and procedures outlined in the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act of 1970 (Public Law 910-646) and the Uniform Relocation Act Amendments of 1987.

    Some tasks of the section include:

    • Guidance and assistance for the equitable relocation of displaced individuals, families, businesses and farm operations.
    • Managing acquired land.
    • Managing and disposing of acquired improvements, land and aviation easements no longer required for airport purposes.
    • Oversight on potential condemnation action by an airport sponsor.
    • Administers Illinois Airport Land Loan Program.
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