On the first day of the new Congress, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced legislation (S.83) that would ensure the future of Chicago's historic downtown airport, Meigs Field. Cosponsors of the legislation include Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), as well as AOPA members and pilots senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Last year, a similar bill (which also included legislation to expand Chicago O'Hare Airport and construct a new airport at Peotone) died in the Senate despite passage by the House of Representatives by a 343-87 vote. Responding to Sen. Durbin's action, AOPA President Phil Boyer said, "This is an important first step in getting this legislation passed in a new Congress; we are pleased its importance was recognized with an opening-day introduction." A companion measure is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives soon.