...As "Lifestyle Airport" Thrives, Regional Airport Seeks GA Flyers...

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Meanwhile, in Poplar Grove, Ill., a small privately-owned airport is growing steadily, by working to create a neighborhood of people who love airplanes. Since 1996, more than 100 homes have been built and 400 residents, many of them pilots or airline workers, have moved to the airpark community, the Rockford Register Star reported on Sunday. Hangar space has quadrupled from 10 years ago, and the airport is home to 366 airplanes. "We made a conscious decision to develop a lifestyle airport, rather than a commercially intensive airport," owner Steve Thomas told the Register Star. It's also open for public use. And in New York, Albany International Airport is working (as its "mission") to become more user-friendly to small airplanes. While private pilots don't bring in the jobs or cash of corporate jets and airlines, "They are proponents and promoters of aviation, and that is within our mission statement," airport Chief Executive John O'Donnell told the Times Union. The airport is considering various ways to attract more pilots, but local pilot Craig Dalto said there is a long way to go: fuel prices at the airport are high, and transient aircraft are charged multiple fees for landing and parking. O'Donnell said he knows there is work to do, but "It's our mission to grow the airport, bring more business here, and build more corporate and general aviation traffic."