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Military helicopters in skies are part of preparations for Obama visit

President Barack Obamwill be making an appearance Chicago Wednesday Jan. 10 2011.

President Barack Obama will be making an appearance in Chicago on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2011.

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Updated: March 24, 2012 11:44PM



WEST CHICAGO — The military helicopters circling around DuPage Airport in recent days are likely support for President Obama’s visit to Chicago on Wednesday.

But don’t expect to see the president step off Air Force One onto the tarmac of DuPage Airport.

DuPage Airport officials said the president’s plane always lands at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

“Air Force One is too big” for the DuPage Airport runways, said Mark Doles, DuPage Airport director of operations and planning.

“(President Obama) has a fundraiser in Chicago on Wednesday. Whenever the president is in town he goes to O’Hare. He has ground and air assets to support his arrival, but he doesn’t come into DuPage, he goes into O’Hare,” Doles said.

The White House said Monday the president’s plane is expected to land at O’Hare at about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“I am assuming (the helicopters seen in the area the past few days) are in support of the president’s operations,” Doles said.

Doles said no president has landed at DuPage Airport while in office.

“Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton came to DuPage Airport as civilians after their terms,” Doles said.

He said the military probably has helicopter operations under way at “other airports besides DuPage” for the presidential visit.



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