Power Lines Threaten Private Strip

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Power to the people of a rural Chicago suburb may come at the expense of a small private airport. ComEd is proposing to string high-voltage power lines about 410 feet from one end of the main runway at Reid Airport, near Huntley. The airport has an FAA certificate and is owned and operated by Bruce Starrenburg. He flies a T-6 out of the grass strip and other aircraft drop in from time to time. There are about 10-20 operations a week from the field, which is part of the 230-acre farm purchased by his father-in-law Howard Reid, then a Delta Air Lines pilot, in 1971. For 35 years Reid, and later Starrenburg, lived the dream of flying from their home but it seems likely the dream will end in 2008 with the completion of the power project. The $30 million project will provide needed capacity increases in the rapidly growing area and the utility company's right of way through the area follows a toll highway adjacent to the airport. Burying the cable would add $10 million to the cost. Starrenburg is vowing to fight the project. The utility will finalize its plans by the end of the year.