Schaumburg Airport lies underneath some of the busiest airspace in the world and is 8 miles west of Chicago O'Hare, one of the most active airports in the US. It's not the busiest uncontrolled field in the US, but it gets more traffic than some towered airports. Given the location, airspace complexity, and airport popularity why is Schaumburg an uncontrolled field?

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    $\begingroup$ Its under the 1900 foot shelf, and right next to the 3000 foot shelf. O'Hare ATC won't route traffic under the shelf so it shouldn't cause any kind of factor to safety or routing, ORD traffic should be no factor unless you bust overlying Class-B. It's not really "complex" airspace, since you are flying under the Class-B shelf you are not in Class-B airspace. The only thing really complex about it is being within the Mode-C veil. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 17 '16 at 2:17
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    $\begingroup$ It should also be noted that there are no published instrument procedures into 06C, so you won't encounter traffic under ATC control coming in on an instrument approach like you would at Executive or DuPage. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 17 '16 at 3:30
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    $\begingroup$ Alternatively, ask why should it be controlled? The runway is 3800' and there are no instrument approaches; that limits the traffic you'll get in there to smaller, slower aircraft. As @RonBeyer explained, the airspace isn't complex or challenging. And adding a tower would require a lot of coordination between the new tower and KORD controllers, and perhaps procedural changes at KORD depending on the design of the class D (?) airspace. So if there's no pressing need for a tower (e.g. persistent airspace or safety issues) it seems like a lot of effort for little benefit. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Oct 17 '16 at 12:42

Most likely, the airport was formed in the early-mid part of the 20th century as a small country airport outside of the Chicago metro area. The city grew around it, similar to Compton-Woodley airport in Los Angeles or Cross Keys or Camden Co. in the Philadelphia metro area. With the introduction of the modern airspace systems for commercial air travel the Class B shelves covered these airports but did not include them.


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