The Illinois Chamber of Commerce has issued a report opposing the closing of Chicago's Meigs Field. In a policy statement released June 20, Illinois' largest business organization called for the expansion of O'Hare and Midway Airports and noted the need for additional airport capacity for the region.
"The Illinois Chamber opposes the closing of Meigs Field in February of 2002," the statement reads. "Meigs provides a unique air travel option for business travelers needing to reach the Chicago Loop area. Keeping the Meigs option available, and preserving the airport's capacity to handle business flights, is a priority for the business community."
That echoes arguments AOPA as been making for years. According to AOPA President Phil Boyer, "The 14 general aviation airports in the Chicago area, including Meigs, are part of the solution to the delay problems at O'Hare. Closing Meigs would be equivalent to eliminating a perfectly good off-ramp from the interstate highway system."
AOPA has been running an intensive, multi-year campaign to prevent the closure of Meigs Field, including discussions with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Recently, AOPA ran TV advertising spots touting the benefits of Meigs Field in Illinois' capital city of Springfield, which is also headquarters for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.