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.
Installing a fuel farm at Berrien County Airport in Nashville, Georgia, could increase the airport’s economic impact on the local community from its last reported $682,200 to nearly $1 million, according to AOPA.
Revisions to the U.S. Forest Service’s plan for Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests in Idaho should allow safety-related improvements to existing airstrips and open the door to creation of new airstrips, AOPA said in comments on the revisions Nov. 12.
Kansas and Iowa officials are reaching out to pilots to measure interest in gaining seaplane access to lakes under Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction.
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