AOPA has learned that its efforts to reverse a request to close Chicago's Meigs Field during an upcoming convention have borne fruit. As reported, the Radiological Society of North America expressed concern about the safety of their convention at McCormick Place, near Meigs, and requested that Mayor Daley close the airport for the duration of the meeting. AOPA asked members to communicate to Mayor Daley the importance of Meigs to both business and personal travelers in the Chicago area, and a great number did so.
Yesterday, an AOPA member who is also a member of RSNA received an e-mail from RSNA's assistant executive director that stated, in part, "A private letter was sent to the Mayor's office communicating concerned member suggestions to not allow take off and landing of aircraft during RSNA hours of operation, November 25-30. Subsequently, members and registrants with opposing views have made RSNA aware that they do not believe Meigs Field poses a security hazard and we have conveyed that to the Mayor. The Mayor's Office is responsible to determine the best plan of action in this regard and has indicated that Meigs Field will remain open."
According to AOPA President Phil Boyer, "Once again, a strong and unified national AOPA membership has made the difference between public policy based on logic and evidence and one based on irrational fear. AOPA commends RSNA for its openness to the views of its pilot members and for reaching an enlightened decision."