Posted Online: Jan. 03, 2013, 9:22 am

Rock Falls, Dixon airports add $11M to economy

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STERLING, Ill. (AP) State transportation officials say two airports in northwestern Illinois are pumping about $11 million a year into the local economy.

An Illinois Department of Transportation study found Whiteside County Airport in Rock Falls and Dixon Municipal Airport each account for about $5.5 million in economic activity.

Whiteside County Administrator Joel Horn says the area gets a share of revenue from that airport's hangar rentals and fuel sales. Whiteside also generates revenue by renting space to businesses, leasing farm land and putting on special events.

Most of its commercial operations come from business jets, with the rest coming from cargo operations.

Airport Manager Mike Dowell tells The (Sterling) Daily Gazette the airport is 'a tremendous asset to the county.'

The IDOT study found the Dixon airport created 59 jobs.