DeKALB – DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport Director Tom Cleveland will be inducted into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame next month.
“It is an honor to be inducted, but it was unexpected,” Cleveland said. “I love what I do and I have been in aviation all my life.”
Cleveland, who has been flying airplanes since he was 14, is one of five individuals to be inducted into the hall of fame at the organization’s annual banquet on Thursday, May 16. More than 100 people have been inducted since the hall of fame was established in 1970.
“Tom Cleveland is well-deserving of this acknowledgement for his commitment to aviation and aviation programs,” said Bruce Griffiths, director of the aviation flight program at Kishwaukee Education Consortium. “He was instrumental in the development of our Kishwaukee Education Consortium aviation program.”
Cleveland has been recognized for his contributions to aviation both as an airport manager, a position he has held for 12 years, and as an active member of the community. Under his direction, Cleveland said the airport has expanded to become “a full-service, all-hours airport that will serve the business community.” It has been host to Corn Fest, biplane fly-ins, Experimental Aircraft Association events and Young Eagle events for young aviation enthusiasts.
“I try to promote aviation to the whole community,” said Cleveland, who currently serves as chairman of the Illinois Public Airport Association and as vice president of the Chicago Area Business Aviation Association.
Despite his long list of accomplishments, Cleveland’s “to do” list continues to grow.
“I have a lot of work to do yet, and I hope I have a lot of work left in me to promote airports and aviation in Illinois,” Cleveland said. “We want to keep on track with our airport layout plan to build more hangars, create more jobs and increase activity at the airport.”