AOPA will make the case for Meigs Field Airport at a series of public meetings in the Chicago area. Illinois Governor George Ryan is holding four hearings on Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's expansion plans for O'Hare International Airport. AOPA will put its written comments into the record this evening, and then provide additional information in person at one of the subsequent hearings.
AOPA will tell the governor that Meigs Field must be part of the plan for Chicago-area aviation growth. The solution to congestion at O'Hare should incorporate the 14 regional and general aviation airports that provide general aviation access to the Chicago area, including Meigs Field.
Removing Meigs from the airport system would increase operations at Midway and Palwaukee airports, which share airspace with O'Hare. That would impact air traffic flow at O'Hare. In addition, closing Meigs would modestly increase the number of general aviation operations at O'Hare itself.
Mayor Daley wants to close Meigs and turn the property into a park, removing an important transportation asset from the aviation system.
"At a time when the nation has set a goal of adding 50 miles of runways to increase airport capacity and reduce delays and congestion, the importance of each airport in the Chicago area is critical," reads the AOPA statement to the hearing. "Meigs should remain open. We urge you to include it as a part of your plan for the Chicago area aviation system."