In 1954 the Illinois Public Airports Association (IPAA) was organized by business and civic leaders to promote the development, construction, maintenance, and continued improvement of publicly-owned airports throughout the aviation system in the State of Illinois. In 1970, associate membership was opened to individuals or companies who are affiliated with aviation in a desire to broaden the scope of an airport-only centered alliance. Today IPAA continues to serve as an exchange center for information about airports, aviation systems, and aeronautical activities throughout the State of Illinois and the Nation. Open and valuable communication occurs through meetings, regularly-published newsletters to members, advocacy, and guidance. The association has emerged as an effective bipartisan political force advocating for legislation and public policy beneficial to both aviation and the general public – while defeating any and all harmful measures. IPAA is one of the largest groups of its kind in the Nation and remains the most active organization representing all segments of public aviation in in Illinois.
The IPAA is a not-for-profit organization whose officials and Board of Directors are volunteers. Officers are elected by the members for two-year terms. Directors are also elected, for terms of one to three years. The Board membership is balanced geographically and is a fair representation of airport employees and non-airport personnel.
Every year general meetings are held that are open to all persons and firms having an interest in public aviation. IPAA holds and annual meeting every year in October. IPAA in addition sponsors and participates in the Illinois Aviation Conference with the Illinois Aviation Trades Association (IATA) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) – Division of Aeronautics.