A little more than a decade after former Mayor Richard Daley illegally destroyed Meigs Field lakefront airport, two new heliports are being constructed in Chicago less than two miles apart. Both are slated to open next summer.
The $13 million Illinois Medical Center Vertiport is being constructed on the near West Side on land that belongs to the Illinois Medical District. The facility will be open to the public and feature a 30,000-sq-ft hangar, a 15,000-sq-ft terminal and ramp space for up to 60 helicopters on the 10 acre site. The project is being financed with private equity and developed by Nighthawk Services. It is supported by Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who called it “essential.”
Meanwhile, just to the southeast, Chicago Helicopter Express is building a $12.5 million private heliport to support its future air-tour operations, flying Airbus EC130B4s. That 4.6-acre site, alongside the Chicago River, will house a 17,500-sq-ft terminal/hangar complex, fuel farm and pad space for 14 helicopters.