Airport Operations

The Airport Operations Department manages the day-to-day operations at General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport. The four Airport Operations Specialists possess the educational background, training, and experience to ensure safe and efficient operation of the airport.

The Operations Department’s areas of responsibilities include:

Airfield Maintenance Department

The Peoria International Airport Field Maintenance Department is comprised of five full-time maintainers and one mechanic.

As snow reduces visibility to near zero and ice threatens to delay flights, the fate of thousands of passengers falls on the airport’s field maintenance department.

Their job: to keep nearly 3.5 miles of runway virtually free of snow and ice —down to bare pavement when possible. Considering that each runway is 150 feet wide, their goal is no less daunting than keeping 21 highway lane miles free of snow.  Combined with the associated taxiways and aprons, they clear a total of nearly 8 million square feet of pavement.

The airfield maintenance department is also charged with maintaining/repairing all pavement, painted surfaces, airfield signage, and airfield lighting. In addition, the team maintains 9 miles of fence line, and mows 600 acres inside the fence and several hundred more outside the fence.

Terminal Maintenance Department

An airport is a complicated environment that requires around-the-clock care to ensure safe and efficient travel for the users and tenants. The Peoria International Airport complex is much like a small city with a variety of infrastructure that requires on-going maintenance.

The five full-time Terminal Maintenance Technicians and one landscaper are responsible for the upkeep of all Airport-owned buildings, including the 125,000 square feet main terminal’s heating and cooling system, jet bridges, baggage conveyor systems, security monitoring system, plumbing, electrical systems, and the upkeep of the Airport grounds around the terminal. 

The maintenance staff diligently works to complete the large array of tasks required to keep the Airport in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in all weather conditions.

Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting

Emergency and Fire services are provided through the 182nd Mission Support Group, Illinois Air National Guard.  The team is lead by Chief Clifford Otto, a fire protection chief with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron.  The Group is responsible for managing emergency services for Peoria’s Air National Guard, Army National Guard, and international airport facilities.