Yesterday, U.S. District Court judge John Walter dismissed the city of Santa Monica, Calif.’s complaint against the U.S. government, in which the city sought to clarify its rights to do what it wishes with the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) property.
Work is scheduled to begin this summer on a $13 million Chicago vertiport, more than 20 years after it was first proposed. The near west side, 10-acre site at 14th & Wood is owned by the Illinois Medical District Commission (IMD) and will be financed privately and developed by Nighthawk Services.
Nighthawk president Mike Conklin told AIN that he expects final approvals within weeks and groundbreaking in “late July or early August.” Construction will take approximately 12 months.
Flying in “Chicagoland” will become severely restricted for many aviators due to an upcoming NATO Summit meeting scheduled for later this month. The summit and the associated temporary flight restriction (TFR), in what is labeled as National Defense Airspace, will be in place from May 19 to 21. The meetings will be held at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, next to the old Meigs Field.
AOPA president Craig Fuller is wondering if Chicago’s Meigs Field could be reopened, now that mayor Richard Daley has announced he won’t seek re-election. On March 30, 2003, Daley closed the airport by sending bulldozers to rip up the runway in the middle of the night.
One of the chief architects of the 2003 demolition of Chicago’s Meigs Field has been arrested on federal bribery, corruption and fraud charges that include trying to sell the vacated U.S. Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama. John Harris, 46, was taken into FBI custody on December 9 along with Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
Midway International Airport is one step closer to becoming the nation’s first privately operated major airport, following last month’s vote by the Chicago city council to sell a 99-year operating lease for the airport. The plan was championed by Chicago mayor Richard Daley, who earned infamy in the aviation community in 2003 by ordering the stealthy destruction of lakeside Meigs Field in the middle of the night.
With the final demolition dust settling over what used to be Meigs Field, the question now becomes, “What would keep this from happening elsewhere in the future?” Last month, crews resumed the destruction of Chicago’s idyllic lakefront airport to the dismay of aviation groups, including Friends of Meigs Field and AOPA, which had led the fight to save the long embattled facility.
A shortage of controllers at Chicago Center and an uptick in air traffic in that sector are a prescription for disaster that the FAA has so far ignored at the expense of public safety, claim officials for the air traffic controllers union.
The Chicago Park District board of directors has voted unanimously to proceed with demolition of Chicago Meigs Field. The board, all appointees of mayor Richard Daley, refused to defer the decision even a few weeks to allow the Friends of Meigs Field to present a plan that would reopen the airport as a combined park and airport.
The Friends of Meigs Field is seeking money for a legal defense fund to prevent further damage to Meigs Field, the Chicago airport whose runway was gouged just after midnight on Sunday, March 30 by order of Mayor Richard Daley.
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