AOPA has reinforced a Chicago Tribune editorial that said that closing Meigs Field would increase congestion at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports. In a letter to the editor [see below], AOPA President Phil Boyer pointed out that Meigs is part of a national transportation system providing access to Chicago from across the nation. He noted that closing Meigs would be like closing the interstate highway off-ramp to downtown Chicago. AOPA also said that Meigs is an important reliever airport, designed to reduce congestion at the hub airports. Under an agreement between Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the state of Illinois, Meigs is scheduled to close next February. AOPA is pursuing several strategies to convince Chicago to keep the lakeside airport open.
May 8, 2001
Letters to the Editor
Via Facsimile 312/222-2598
RE: No joy in shutting Meigs
Closing Meigs would be like closing the Loop off-ramp to downtown. Just like the interstate highway system, Meigs is part of a national system providing access to Chicago from across the nation.
Meigs is also an important "reliever" airport, an airport designated as an alternative to O'Hare and Midway for business and general aviation aircraft. Meigs reduces the pressure on these hub airports.
It's a system that works. Meigs can handle some 93 percent of all general aviation aircraft. Thanks to Meigs and other Chicago-area reliever airports, general aviation aircraft currently account for less than three percent of the traffic at O'Hare and Midway. When Meigs closes, those aircraft will be pushed to the next closest landing spots to downtown Chicago—the "airline" airports. The increased congestion at O'Hare and Midway mean Chicago citizens will be the losers.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association