A bill moving through Congress that would dramatically expand Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) would also protect tiny Meigs Field (CGX) for the next quarter century. But opposition to the proposal to add runways at O’Hare and build an entirely new airport at Peotone, Ill., could scuttle the deal.
O'Hare International Airport
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta has asked governors, local officials–such as airport directors and metropolitan planning organizations–and other transportation leaders to nominate high-priority projects that the Transportation Department can give expedited agency reviews for permits.
Minnesota’s Flying Cloud Airport (FCM) is holding hearings this month concerning runway expansion and a project to build new hangars on the airport’s south side. The Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) is also inviting public comments at its September 19 meetings to its proposed change of so-called Ordinance 51, which limits operations at FCM to aircraft weighing less than 20,000 lb.
The FAA and aviation industry have formed a Runway Safety Council to examine root causes of runway incursions and make recommendations about runway safety. The group includes 12 to 15 industry representatives and held its first meeting in late March.
At the 60th anniversary of the pivotal naval battle that saved it from Japanese occupation, Midway Island is again fighting for its life–at least its economic life as a viable destination airport (MDY). According to Midway Phoenix, the company that operated the airport under contract from 1996 until last May 1, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now keeping the field open only for its own support.
In its ongoing battle with the Santa Monica City Council, which is trying to figure out a way to restrict jet operations at California’s Santa Monica Airport, the FAA filed an Order to Show Cause against the city last Wednesday. The city council last week adopted an ordinance that prohibits category C and D jets from using the airport beginning April 24.
When the FAA unveiled its Fiscal Year 2009 budget, it was another sign that the budget battle and the threat of user fees is far from over. “What part of ‘no’ doesn’t the White House understand?” asked AOPA president Phil Boyer. “They just changed the dates and submitted essentially the same proposal as last year–a proposal soundly rejected by the general aviation community, the House and the Senate.”
Both the House and the Senate have begun the arduous process of reauthorizing the FAA, in other words replacing the historic Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), which set spending priorities for the past three fiscal years. AIR-21 expires September 30, the end of fiscal year 2003.
CESSNA 208B, ROCKFORD, ILL., DEC. 17, 2002–During a night flight Cessna N277PM, operated by Planemasters as Flight 1627, collided with trees and terrain while on the ILS Runway 07 approach to the Greater Rockford Airport (RFD), Ill. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was destroyed. N277PM was operating under Part 135, transporting cargo for United Parcel Service at the time of the accident. TMC prevailed, IFR flight plan was filed.
The fate of Chicago’s Meigs Field (CGX), still in limbo because of Senate inaction last year, has not disappeared from the radar screen of Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.). On January 7, the first day of the 108th Congress, he introduced legislation that would ensure the future of the downtown lakefront airport.