The year 2003–the centennial of manned, powered flight–was supposed to be the one where aviation shone brightly. Instead, the entire aviation industry was a bit under the weather, riding out a turbulent market marred by a sour economy and the long-lasting after-effects of 9/11.
The City of Chicago settled FAA enforcement action that arose after it bulldozed Meigs Field’s runway on March 30, 2003. The city agreed to pay $33,000, assessed for failure to provide advance notice of changes to the airport, although under terms of the settlement the city admits no violation.
When New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, and his flight instructor, Tyler Stranger, 26, crashed their Cirrus SR20 into an east side Manhattan high-rise on October 11, the resultant outcry predictably called for more restrictions against general aviation.
Responding to an FAA investigation into whether or not funds intended for O’Hare and Midway airports in Chicago were used illegally to destroy Meigs Field in March 2003, the city claims it was justified in using $2.8 million in Airport Improvement Program funding. The FAA must decide whether use of the funds was appropriate or levy fines of up to $8.4 million.
One year ago this month, the FAA said it would take legal action against the city of Chicago because officials failed to notify the agency 30 days before closing Meigs Field. In the early morning hours f March 30, 2003, Mayor Richard Daley sent heavy equipment onto the field to carve trenches across its single runway, citing terrorism worries as his reason.
The City of Chicago settled an FAA enforcement action that arose after it bulldozed Meigs Field’s runway on March 30, 2003. The city agreed to pay $33,000, assessed for failure to provide advance notice of changes to the airport, although under terms of the settlement the city admits no violation.
The worst-kept secret in Chicago: Mayor Richard Daley is considering privatizing Midway International Airport. Dana Levenson, the city’s CFO, has stated officially that the idea has been discussed but is not under serious consideration. According to Levenson, the idea has surfaced as a way for the city to raise money without increasing taxes. “It’s really just thinking outside the box,” Levenson said.
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