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University of Illinois Willard Airport

University of Illinois Willard Airport
Airport information
Airport typePublic
OperatorUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ServesChampaign-Urbana, Illinois
LocationTolono Township, Illinois
Elevation230 m (754 ft)

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University of Illinois Willard Airport is an airport owned and operated by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign located south of Savoy in Tolono Township, Champaign County, Illinois. It serves the greater Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Area in East Central Illinois. Willard Airport is named for former University of Illinois president Arthur Cutts Willard, and home to the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation, which is a major research facility at the university.

Recently, the airport has faced several challenges in terms of its competitiveness. No international flights are offered due to the lack of U.S. immigration and customs facilities. The additional price airlines charge to fly to regional airports compared to a major hub like Chicago's O'Hare International Airport often encourages budget-minded travelers to use surface transport to reach Champaign County instead. Major airlines have chosen to serve Central Illinois only via the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington-Normal instead. Finally, with the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation scheduled to close in 2014, the number of flights at the airport will drastically decrease, which could lower Willard's importance in the region as well as the amount of FAA funding it receives.

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