The Illinois Department of Transportation has purchased Bult Field – a general aviation airport near Monee and a key component of the state’s overall plan to develop the South Suburban Airport – for $34 million.
The transaction covers 288 acres, including the airport’s 5,000-foot runway, taxiway, hangars and terminal, as well as additional farmland surrounding the airfield near Monee.
“This acquisition marks a defining milestone for the South Suburban Airport,” Susan R. Shea, IDOT’s director of aeronautics, said in a news release on the acquisition. “The Bults are true aviation enthusiasts who built one of the finest general aviation airports in the country. This ownership transition will be as seamless as possible for airport users.”
Will County Executive Larry Walsh said the purchase shows the commitment IDOT and Gov. Pat Quinn have made to making the airport a reality.
“It catapults IDOT into being recognized as operators of a general aviation airport, which in the long-range plan fits right into what will become the South Suburban airport,” Walsh said.
The state will continue to operate Bult Field as a general aviation airport until it is incorporated into the inaugural South Suburban Airport.
“It’s a turnkey operation,” Walsh noted. “Instead of Jim Bult being the operator, it now will be IDOT. They’ll be selling fuel, renting storage, everything.”
Even after the South Suburban Airport is open for business, Bult Field will continue to serve the area’s general aviation and corporate aircraft needs as part of the overall operations of the state’s new commercial airport facility, IDOT officials said.
The purchase of Bult Field is the latest in a string of major acquisitions for the South Suburban Airport. In the past year, IDOT has acquired more than 1,150 acres in support of the project. So far, IDOT has acquired more than 3,500 acres of the approximately 5,800 that are needed for the inaugural airport.
In addition to the ongoing land acquisition, IDOT is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop an airport master plan and complete the environmental approval process for the project.