AOPA's lobbying blitz in the Illinois capital of Springfield is paying off. State Representative David Leitch (R-73rd District) has introduced an amendment that would require the city of Chicago to "restore and reopen Meigs Field as an airport for public use."
The amendment is to a Senate Bill 802 that would give Chicago additional powers to be able to expand O'Hare International Airport. The amendment is currently in the House Rules Committee, which must decide to advance the legislation to the full House for consideration. AOPA members in Illinois are urged to contact their representatives in the House and ask them to support the amendment to reopen Meigs Field.
"The willingness of the Republican leadership to introduce this amendment shows that Meigs is a much bigger issue than the city of Chicago," said AOPA Vice President for Regional Affairs Bill Dunn, who is in Springfield working with Illinois lawmakers.
AOPA asked for the amendment and suggested some of the language. The amendment notes that, "The closure of Meigs Field adversely affects air traffic and airports throughout the Chicago region," and that "Meigs Field, if reopened, would immediately serve a vital role for air transportation in this State that would include medical flights, emergency services, and business and personal air travel."
It also includes language that would effectively prevent Chicago from closing Meigs after the amendment takes effect.