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Helicopters at DuPage Airport Are Getting Ready for President's Visit

Those helicopters you see flying around are in fact at DuPage Airport, getting ready for the president's Wednesday visit.

The helicopters you've seen flying overhead the past couple days are, in fact, here to escort President Obama to his Wednesday fundraising visit in Chicago.

Mark Doles, director of operations for the DuPage Airport Authority, confirmed Monday morning that the helicopters our alert Patch readers saw Sunday were at DuPage Airport to make sure the president arrives safely.

He said the helicopter pilots are practicing a "dry run" as this is written, about 9:20 a.m. Monday.

Doles said he can't officially confirm or deny that the helicopters are for presidential transportation, but it's hard to keep the lid on something as obvious as a small squadron of military helicopters.

"We can't hide them," he said.

This is the second time the president has used DuPage Airport for travel purposes.

"They're comfortable operating here," Doles said. "They were here in August, and obviously there's a reason they came back."

Choosing DuPage over O'Hare and Midway is a nice compliment to , which has won a number of accolades in recent months. In June,  visited DuPage to tout the success of regional airports in bracing local economies. The airport, which was losing $2 million a year, is now making $2 million a year in profit.

The Chinook helicopters will only be here for a few days and probably will leave town with the president, most likely on Wednesday.

"I don't think he's even planning to stay overnight," Doles said. 

 

Editor's note: The photos attached to this story are from a Dearborn, MI, Patch article about a similar helicopter sighting there.

Dan Stearns January 09, 2012 at 05:58 PM
DuPage has a couple of 7500 foot runways - longer than anything at Midway
Rick Nagel January 09, 2012 at 06:56 PM
If anyone gets a photo or photos of the helicopters, please post them on the Geneva Community Gallery. http://geneva.patch.com/articles/geneva-community-gallery#photo-8847454
Bob Jensby January 10, 2012 at 12:21 AM
That explains the C-117 cargo plane I saw take off from DuPage on Sunday. That's how the motorcade vehicles get moved around to various locations.
Pam January 12, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Every president has a yearly travel budget. Any time he flies on Air Force One (which he is required to do), the government covers the costs and expenses associated with the trip. His campaign pays back the White House for any extras related to the fund-raiser. As in extra staff, meals and accommodations.
Mary October 22, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Wow! Two military helicopters just Valkyrie'd across the sky over Carol Stream, IL. Beautiful sight !

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