June 4, 2003
Chicago residents woke up this morning to find full-page ads from AOPA in their Sunday newspapers. The ads, which run today and Monday in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, the city's two largest newspapers, are billed as an "open letter" to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley on the "destruction of Meigs Field."
"We played fair with you," begins the letter from AOPA President Phil Boyer. Recalling the decade of lobbying, legislation, and legal action to preserve Meigs, Boyer reminded the mayor he had promised to keep the airport open for at least 25 years.
"We took you at your word," the letter continues, but "you opened fire on us by bulldozing the airport in the middle of the night. Not to protect the city from terrorist attacks. No, Mr. Mayor, you wantonly destroyed Meigs Field under cover of darkness because you knew that deception and lies could get you what free and open debate could not. And that you could get away with it.
"I would say, 'Shame!" But it is obvious that you have none.
"Now, the time for playing fair is over."
Boyer questioned how anyone, including the mayor's supporters, could ever trust him again.
And he said that the nation's pilots were now giving Daley fair warning—something he had not had the decency to give.
"We will use every legitimate tactic in the book to do whatever we have to do to restore Meigs Field to the service of general aviation," Boyer wrote in the ad. "You have seriously underestimated the resolve of America's pilots. In short, Mr. Mayor, we shall not allow you to clip our wings."
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