Chicago Area Business Aviation Association

CABAA is a grassroots organization formed by business aviation professionals for the purpose of offering our members relevant information, training, and networking experiences to enhance the quality and quantity of business aviation operations in the Chicagoland area.

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Upcoming Events

Calendar "The Business of Business Aviation" May 16, 2019 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Calendar 2019 Networking Event with Keynote Speaker Brian Shul June 20, 2019 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Presentations will cover the forthcoming $8.5 Billion O’Hare 21 Expansion, the $400 Million Midway Modernization Program (MMP), as well as local Chicago GA Airport updates

There is a lot happening in the world of Aviation here in Chicago!  If you live and work here, you will want to know how these changes will impact you and your business in the coming months and years. If you are a company contemplating where to set up your next corporate HQ for optimal global impact, you may want to focus on some of these impressive facts about Chicago’s ranking in global aviation.  


1) O'Hare International Airport (ORD) is the nation's “most-connected airport” according to aviation researcher OAG.  “The combination of Chicago O'Hare's central location, size and hub schedules from both United Airlines and American Airlines give the airport a perfect recipe for connectivity," OAG said in CRAINS. Chicago has the most direct domestic destinations in the country, with 170. While Atlanta’s airport has more flights than Chicago-O’Hare, Chicago Midway brings the total for the region higher than anywhere else. Chicago’s airports are also major hubs for United, American, and Southwest, meaning that no airline has more than 32 percent of the region’s market. Midway can also brag on having the lowest average fare of any airport in the country.


Midway International Airport (MDW)


2) O’Hare handled 79.8 million passengers in 2017, representing a steady 2.4 percent increase over 2016 and marking the highest total in the airport’s history. Midway also recorded one of its highest annual totals for travelers last year, with 22.4 million passengers. This level of growth is consistent with FAA forecasts, and follows the expansion of service by Chicago’s airline partners to more than 35 domestic and international destinations in 2017.

3) According to a recent article published by ACI World, air cargo flown through Chicago also reached new heights in 2017. The record-breaking tonnage at O’Hare is attributable to strong trade with Asia, stable economic conditions worldwide, e-commerce growth and additional capacity created by the O’Hare’s new state-of-the-art Northeast Cargo Development. 

4) The Chicago Department of Aviation reports that O’Hare will also soon become home to the first Global Alliance Hub in North America and one of only 5 in the world, where each of the three international airline alliance partners operate within a single terminal facility to make connecting flights more seamless and convenient for passengers. “The record-breaking passenger and cargo traffic at Chicago’s airports last year clearly shows the strength of the Chicago market and growing economic impact of aviation has for our city and region,” said Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner, CDA. “We expect this growth to continue and our ongoing and future projects to modernize O’Hare and Midway to keep Chicago at the forefront of aviation, providing unmatched connectivity to travelers, as well as economic opportunity for our surrounding communities.”

So who is footing the bill for these massive projects? Airlines are central to the funding process.  According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “either paying for airport facilities themselves or committing to long-term levels of flying—15 years in the case of O’Hare—that underpin bond issues by cities to pay for improvements.”

Chicago Department of Aviation speakers at the CABAA eventwill include Susan Kurland, Deputy Commissioner of Air Services Development for O’Hare and Midway International Airports and Erin O’Donnell the Managing Deputy Commissioner of Chicago Midway International Airport.


Sue KurlandErin ODonnell







Susan Kurland                            Erin O'Donnell

Tom Cleveland

CABAA's very own Tom Cleveland, Airport Manager at City of DeKalb and President of the Illinois Public Airports Association, will be on hand to coordinate updates from the local GA Airport Managers.  “We want the opportunity for operators to put a face to a name of the Airport Managers and for those managers to be able to relay relevant information about their airports that might significantly impact operations. This is about opening up communication between the many outstanding airports in the Chicago area.  We are in this together.”



For more information and to register for the event

Katy Glynn is Vice President of JetLease Palm Beach and JetLease Unmanned, the Chairman of the Chicago Area Business Aviation Association’s Communications Committee ( and a regular contributor to CABAA web content. Contact her at

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