DeKalb-Taylor Airport under new management; Hopes to expand operations


Changes are taking flight at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, 3232 Pleasant St.

DeKalb Aviation took over the operations of the airport early last week.

Airport manager Tom Cleveland said the change is in the fixed base operator (FBO). The previous FBO, J.A. Air Center, had interests elsewhere.

“J.A. [Air Center] was here, but is moving to focus in Aurora,” Cleveland said. “They assigned the lease to DeKalb Aviation to run operations, and [DeKalb Aviation] came in last Monday.”

DeKalb Aviation President John Kessler said the deal was made quickly.

“J.A.’s interest wasn’t DeKalb anymore,” Kessler said. “A developer asked to buy them out to sell gas cheap. It was basically done over a handshake.”

A change of personnel is not the only difference in the airport. Cleveland hopes to receive a Part 139 certificate, which is a limited commercial certificate that will allow the airport to fly college sports teams to and from events.

“All of the NIU teams are bussed to and from the Rockford airport,” Cleveland said. “The university is in DeKalb, and they need to use the DeKalb airport.”

The certificate would also let a certain amount of commercial airplanes land if they need to refuel.

A percentage of the income from the fuel sold will go directly to DeKalb, Kessler said.

Kessler said the new certificate will have a great outcome.

“It’s a big win for the city,” Kessler said.

Cleveland, too, was optimistic about the possibilities. He stressed, however, that the airport would not be a full-fledged commercial airport anytime in the near future.

“There are numerous things that we would have to do,” Cleveland said. “It would cost a lot of money and would take a lot of time. Getting this limited commercial certificate is all we’re looking for right now.”