Best GA Airports in Chicago Metro

Hello all - planning a weekend in the Windy City; staying away from Midway and O’Hare. Looking for airport suggestions. Will uber into city etc and spend a few night around the loop.

Many thanks for Chicago land experts.


Chicago Executive has been good for me. KPWK. Received Sunday A&P service in my Cirrus once when needed.

Thank you Kent! Cirrus sr22 2005 gts.

We “Ubered” into the city. Stayed at Trump Tower…nice accommodations.

First, you would be much better off posting on the Member side rather than the Guest side as far more people will see your post.

There are numerous prior threads on this subject that you can access using the search function, but the answer to your question really depends on where you are coming from, what time of day, whether you want to use public transportation or a cab/uber etc.

The most convenient airport to downtown is Midway, but if you don’t want to go there, consider Gary which is about 40 minutes to downtown. Gary is especially nice if you are coming from the east or south. It is also reasonably inexpensive.

Executive is OK if you’re coming from the north or northwest. However it can be a long ride downtown if the traffic is heavy (as it will be during rush hour). And FBOs and fuel prices are high.

If you like uncontrolled airports, Schaumburg is OK but, again, it is a long ride to downtown.

I’m based at DuPage which is west of the city. It’s a great airport, but the ride to downtown is at least an hour if there is no traffic. Same with Aurora.

Schaumburg is convenient and has a great restaurant in the terminal, but there are no Instument approaches. And VFR, be aware of the close Bravo overhead. Gary is close to public transportation, but the ground trip is not scenic.

Meigs is the best choice. Oh, wait…

I used to use Midway but now I use Gary Indiana KGYY. It’s maybe 10 minutes longer to town but it’s much less hectic, and fuel / hangar are a lot cheaper. I use the Gary Jet Center and they are one of my favorite FBO’s. They just couldn’t be nicer and their new facility is gorgeous. Ask for Cynthia and tell her I sent you!

I’ll be flying in there this Sunday afternoon. Maybe I’ll see you.

Have also utilized Gary…I arrive from South…

We always use Gary (GYY) - have used Gary Jet Center and B Coleman - both excellent. Very reasonable fuel and fees.

Inexpensive and convenient train ride to downtown, or I’ve also used Uber for a few dollars more. Not the prettiest part of town, but the FBO’s make sure you’re safely on the train if you choose that option. They come get you after as well, but if you take the train make sure to tell the conductor that you need the airport stop - they don’t stop there unless requested.

For a few dollars more than that I hire a town car: Gary Peterson, or ‭(219) 616-0527‬. He can be there waiting for you when you arrive (he monitors FlightAware) and you know you’ll have an expert driver and nice big car with beverages.


Gary Jet hosted a CDM for us last year. Their new FBO building is great. Tell Cynthia you know me.

I’m based at KPWK. Fuel is higher than Gary. Lots to do around KPWK. What is the purpose of your trip?

We flew into Gary in the fall a year and a half ago, and that was just a short stop in Chicago to see some relatives. Easy train ride in and back. B Coleman gave us a ride over, told us what to do to get the train to stop and picked us up on the return trip.

We planned to go to Gary to make it easier and cheaper than Midway. Ended up we had to go there as Obama was in town that weekend and Midway was in the inner circle of the TFR.

Thanks all for the very helpful and generous advice. I’ll post on the experience - coming from the east then heading N to Mackinac, Gary sounds like a good option. Gordon - great tip on the limo service.

Jeff. Sr22 GTS 2005

I fly into KGYY and take the METRA into the city.


Do you like Gary coming from Minneapolis as well? Or if anyone else has ideas from Minneapolis. In on a Saturday out on Sunday.


Not Gordon but if you go to GYY from the MSP area you will be routed down at least as far west as JOT before you head towards GYY. It’s about 40 miles from JOT to GYY. Same routing for MDW although MDW is only 30 miles from JOT.

If you are doing this on a weekend, the road traffic may be reasonable and the most convenient airport coming from the N or NW is my least favorite of the Chicago fields; Executive, formerly known as Pal-Waukee (PWK) From the ATC standpoint it will be the easiest in and out. The only good way to get downtown though is by road. An Uber should be $45 or so. If you go there, use Hawthorne, the nicest FBO. All the FBOs are expensive but the facilities at Hawthorne make the fees less painful.

If you choose to go to GYY, it’s best to go VFR (or cancel as you near Chicago) and fly below the BRAVO along the lake. The flight is beautiful and it will save you quite a bit of time in the air.

Thanks Jerry!

I’ll probably arrange to have a car pick us up as we will have four of us going to a play so the extra drive time wouldn’t be that bad unless it was stopped traffic.


Which play?

Hamilton. My wife and daughter went to it in Chicago last fall and have been waiting for me to go. Funny thing is it’s in Minnesota right now. But I never mind taking a trip.