July 29, 2003
The day after Chicago's Meigs Field proved its value again, the FAA stuck another nail in the airport's coffin. On Sunday, an aircraft flying just north of the airport on its way to Oshkosh suffered an electrical failure and made an emergency landing in the grass alongside the rubble from Meigs' torn-up runway. On Monday, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revoke the Class D airspace around the closed airport.
"Twice in as many weeks, aircraft have set down at Meigs despite the closure, due to in-flight situations," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But Mayor Daley still plans to begin final demolition of the runway in less than a month."
A spokesperson for the FAA praised the pilot in Sunday's incident, telling the Chicago Tribune, "He did the correct thing and that is to put the aircraft down safely."
But in its NPRM, the agency said, "The City of Chicago has permanently closed Merrill C. Meigs Airport, Chicago, IL, and therefore there is no longer a requirement for the existing Class D airspace."
The FAA is accepting comments on the NPRM. Visit the federal Docket Management System, click the search button, and enter the docket number (15398), or go directly to document FAA-2003-15398-1. The deadline for submitting comments is September 29, 2003.
FAA Systems and Airspace,
Pilot Safety and Skills
The Civil Aviation Medical Association is objecting to the FAA's proposed sleep apnea policy, warning that the evidence doesn't justify the approach.
Pilots have formed a user group and launched a petition drive to save Runway 5/23 at Joplin Regional Airport in Joplin, Mo.
AOPA is urging Santa Rosa County officials who operate Peter Prince Field in Milton, Fla., to revise proposed rules to eliminate potential conflicts.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.