Meigs Field's future has become more secure. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and Senate aviation subcommittee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) announced at a news conference Thursday afternoon that the Senate Commerce Committee will soon hold a hearing on the bill that will keep Meigs Field open. The legislation (S.1786) will write into law the historic agreement between Mayor Daley and Illinois Governor George Ryan preserving Meigs, expanding O'Hare International, and creating a new airport at Peotone. AOPA has been a strong supporter of the Chicago airports legislation because it keeps Meigs Field open.
AOPA President Phil Boyer met up yesterday with Mayor Daley (who was in Washington, D.C., for the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors).
"It was great to be able to thank him for including Meigs Field in the plan for Chicago area airports," Boyer said.
"I would like to hold a hearing on this bill as soon as possible," said Chairman Rockefeller. "I've looked at the legislation thoroughly, and it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. I think we have the votes in the Commerce Committee to pass it."
According to a senior aviation counsel on the Commerce Committee, Chairman Rockefeller told Mayor Daley in a meeting earlier today that he is glad the mayor is keeping Meigs Field open. President Boyer commented, "General aviation is fortunate to have the leadership of senators Rockefeller and Durbin on keeping GA's flagship airport in Chicago open."