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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wouldn't it be ironic if a Democratic governor and Jesse Jackson's son succeed in creating our nation's worst sprawl inducing developoment in living memory???? This is a nightmare.


Long-debated plan for a third Chicago-area airport gains traction
TRANSPORTATION: Skeptics say new airport wouldn't fly, point to struggling other regional airports.

BY MIKE COLIAS
Associated Press Writer

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Saturday, May 7, 2005 1:48 AM CDT

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CHICAGO | State officials see a gold mine in the cornfields 40 miles south of downtown Chicago: a commercial airport that would inject thousands of new jobs into the economically depressed south suburbs and help unclog the skies over O'Hare International Airport.

While there has been talk of a third Chicago-area airport for almost 20 years, the latest plan has taken wing thanks to private money and the support of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich late last month gave federal aviation officials a blueprint for a single-runway, five-gate airport near the small town of Peotone.

Many aviation experts, however, are skeptical the airport would draw the interest of airlines or passengers. They point to other small airports -- some closer to the Chicago than Peotone, such as one in Gary -- that have tried in vain for years to steal passengers away from busy O'Hare and Midway airports.

"If there's such a huge demand for a new airport, why aren't airlines and passengers flocking to Gary or Rockford?" asked Denver-based airline consultant Michael Boyd.

Boyd says he sees parallels between the Peotone proposal and MidAmerica Airport, 20 miles east of St. Louis in Mascoutah, Ill., which has been a colossal bust since it opened in 1997. It drew just 7,800 passengers last year despite original forecasts of more than a million by 2005.

Even so, many observers say an airport at Peotone has a good shot at getting built for one reason: political will.

The resurgence of the third airport concept is credited largely to boosterism from Jackson, who has made it his pet project for a decade. It got another boost in January, when Blagojevich endorsed Jackson's airport plan in his State of the State address.

Jackson touts Peotone as the nation's first privately funded airport; two developers last year pledged $200 million to open it. He says the airport, which eventually would expand to four runways and 12 gates, would be tailor-made for discount carriers such as JetBlue.

"It's the fastest, cheapest and safest way to address Chicago's aviation capacity crisis," said Jackson, who represents Chicago's south suburbs.

Most state and federal lawmakers who represent the area want the airport, although a political battle is simmering over what entity would control it: Jackson's coalition of 32 south suburban municipalities or the government of Will County.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, long thought to oppose a third airport over fears it could pose a threat to Midway and a proposed $15 billion expansion of O'Hare, has expressed indifference about Peotone lately.

"Go ahead and build it," Daley said at a recent news conference.

But whether the airport will fly with the public is up for debate.

"I don't believe we're anywhere near the point of needing another major facility for the Chicago area," said Aaron Gellman, a professor at Northwestern University's Transportation Center. "It's politically driven."

Analysts point to the growth in traffic at O'Hare and Midway as proof that passengers aren't interested in an alternative. Takeoffs and landings at O'Hare have increased since 2000, to 968,000 last year. Flights at Midway are up 24 percent over that period, to 280,000.

And smaller airports are positioning themselves to capitalize now on the congestion, which could mean competition for a future airport at Peotone.

"There is a third airport. It's in Gary," said Paul Karas, manager of Gary/Chicago International Airport. The facility, 15 miles closer to downtown Chicago than Peotone, received federal approval in March for a $90 million expansion.

Greater Rockford Airport, about 85 miles northwest of Chicago, this week began offering twice daily service to Detroit on Northwest Airlines.

Even General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee has marketed itself as "Chicago's Third Airport" for years. It's making a stronger pitch with a new Amtrak station that receives seven trains daily from Chicago.

While the FAA has agreed with the state's projection of nearly 14,000 flights a year at Peotone within six years of its projected opening in 2009, many Illinois business and political leaders say the only real solution for Chicago's clogged aviation system is expanding O'Hare.

"We need to fix O'Hare at O'Hare," said FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro.

The O'Hare expansion is a huge, controversial proposal for an airport that logged the worst on-time performance in the nation last year. The plan would add two new runways, reconfigure others and build new terminals. It is still under FAA consideration, but Molinaro said the FAA decision, due in September, will have no bearing on its eventual decision on Peotone.

Regardless, the city's chronically congested skies can only bode well for Peotone's future, says Joseph Schwieterman, an aviation expert at DePaul University.

"Our air-travel system is splitting at the seams," he says. "That makes the outlook much more favorable for a scaled-down airport like Peotone."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Although this article quotes Daley as saying "Go ahead and build it", I doubt that's what he's thinking. Could a Daley/Indiana Republican alliance be in the works?? Geography trumps politics apparently

Chicago mayor meets with Daniels, King, plot potential for funding

INDIANAPOLIS - Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Gary Mayor Scott King made their case for state funding for Gary/Chicago International Airport. Their timing made a splash. The two mayors arrived Indianapolis for a scheduled meeting with Gov. Mitch Daniels as the new governor was about to attend a closed-door meeting with House Republicans.

At the meeting, Daniels was attempting to persuade Republicans to vote for package that included funding for a new Colts stadium and a Regional Development Authority for Northwest Indiana. Daniels has said the first priority of the RDA should be to provide money to expand the Gary airport.

"This airport has the potential for cargo and passenger service," Daley said. "It's located perfectly. The growth factor is there. We wanted to see what the support level was from the state of Indiana." Gary and Chicago have a compact that has provided the Gary airport $14 million over the years. "The city of Chicago has given more money to the airport than the state of Indiana," Daley said. After the delay, the two mayors met with Daniels for about 45 minutes. Afterward, Daley and King said the governor showed support for state funding.

Daley and King brushed aside questions when asked if Gary is in a foot race with Peotone to be the third major airport for the region.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently supported plans to create a new airport south of Cook County as Illinois made its bid before the Federal Aviation Administration. Daley said the two issues were unrelated. The debate over a third Chicago airport has been waged for nearly 15 years. In recent years, Chicago has supported expansion at Gary over a green-field site in Illinois, which could be built large enough to rival O'Hare. Gary was recently approved for expansion by the FAA. Under a plan that would be paid for by 90 percent federal dollars, Gary still needs $11 million in state and local money. "I think the timing couldn't have been better, given the issues we are working on today," said Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, who met with Daniels and the two mayors. "I think it shows that the mayor of Chicago is serious about expanding the Gary airport."

She said the meeting was not so much a strategy session as a show of support for the Gary site. "I think there is enormous potential here," Daley said.

Daley and Daniels talked not only about the airport but Daley's experience with charter schools in Chicago, where the mayor runs the school system. Located south of Chicago, with access to rail lines and existing highways, Gary is a perfect location for cargo aircraft that want to fly into the Chicago market, Daley said. The timing of the meeting was a coincidence. It had been canceled several times before being rescheduled for Friday. Daley, a former Illinois state lawmaker, said he had no idea he was walking into the last day of the Indiana General Assembly's session.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gary is the obvious third choice. The South Shore runs right past the airport. And considering the South Shore has stops at Millenium Park, Van Buren, and 12th street near Central Station.....an awful lot of Chicagoans would benefit from a viable Gary Airport. The South Shore to Gary Airport would be about 45 minutes from Grant Park, and much much more comfortable than the CTA to O'Hare or Midway (with luggage).
 

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It would be a much better idea to expand either the Gary or Rockford airports because at least they are existing regional airports. Not to mention, so much business already exists along the I-90 beltway between Rockford and Gary that it would seem logical to maintain that route as the main commuter way between the airports. It makes no sense at all to build a new airport from scratch when there are so many other options. Regardless of what happens, O'Hare still needs to be expanded.
 

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Gary is about as close to Chicago as Newark is to NYC. So an airport there would make sense. The South Shore station is about a mile from the terminal. That's not a problem though, since we can build an AirTrain and charge people $5 to ride it. The problem is South Shore line goes to Randolph Street Station - which does have Pedway access to Red Line and Blue Line (nobody in Chicago knows about Pedway) but the corridors are closed on weekends and evenings. Perhaps rerouting South Shore to Union Station? It's just that Chicago is not as transit-dependent as New York is and it's hard to imagine people taking a train from Chicago to an Indiana airport. And Chicago-area people don't want to drive that far. Newark, you see, has all of New Jersey in its backyard, but Chicago's Indiana suburbs are not nearly as populous. The upside is that Gary airport will not meet any NIMBYism like Peotone or O'Hare expansion.
 

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Why is it really, really important to build airport in Peotone? It will displace at least 1400 homeowners and business owners living in Peotone. Their community does not support 3rd airport.

It is better to expand and modernize exisiting O'Hare airport. Only few hundreds homeowners will be displaced.
 

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Rockford said:
Although this article quotes Daley as saying "Go ahead and build it", I doubt that's what he's thinking. Could a Daley/Indiana Republican alliance be in the works?? Geography trumps politics apparently
Daley is saying go ahead go for it....but you I will not help you out at all. Which is a death sentence.

And doesn't matter what party anyone is in...if they line up with Daley he has no problem supporting them. Gov George Ryan (Rep) had a much better relationship with Daley than Daley does't with Gov. Badhairovich.

And I think all Daley needs to do is say: MID AMERICA AIRPORT!!!

What a fricken white elephant!
 

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^ It helps the south suburbs... which of course I and most Chicagoans could give two shits about.


I would never, ever fly out of Peotone. It's way too far from the city and there's no way to get there but driving.
 

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I don't mind the idea of the South Shore from Gary going to Randolph Street, I think that makes sense considering only those tracks are electrified in the whole commuter rail system.

In fact, I think it would be a spectacular idea to redo the underground pedways as an underground mall to go with that new superstation for block 37... make it like a typical Japanese transit hub with moving walkways along the whole system as well, that way it could be a 24 hour thing. Then just implement airport express service from Randolph Street Station to a new expanded Gary-Chicago Airport, like what they plan to do with O'hare and Midway from block 37. I think it would be fly as **** to have your choice of 3 airports to be wisked away to all in one giant bi-nodal railhub in downtown.
 

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Just a thought. I used to work in air freight and noticed that many large cities around the world have one airport for freight and another for passengers. What if a scaled down Peotone or even Gary became freight only (UPS, FedEx, ect.) and those operations at O'Hare and Midway were moved there; do you think that would free up sufficient slots to make a difference?
 

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^It's doubtful that even if such operations were moved at either airport that efficiency would be increased due to the space constraints and layouts of each airport. O'hare is congested because of too many aircraft movements and an inefficient runway layout, that's what the expansion is seeking to solve. Midway wouldn't make much a difference anyway and they've reached their expansion limits in both categories.
 

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Chi-town said:
^ It helps the south suburbs... which of course I and most Chicagoans could give two shits about.


I would never, ever fly out of Peotone. It's way too far from the city and there's no way to get there but driving.
So does Gary...so Chicago must me concerned about the south side.

Lots of special interest groups bought all the land around Peotone when the idea was first floated. That is why the Gov and Jackson are pushing Peotone...pay back time.
 

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Chi-town said:
^ It helps the south suburbs... which of course I and most Chicagoans could give two shits about.
This Chicagoan (9 years in the city proper, 25+ years in Cook County) would love to see the south suburbs helped out thank you very much ... what's your beef?

Granted I probably wouldn't fly out of Peotone as I dont' have a car and it would be an expensive pain in the butt to get there if there wasn't adequate public transportation, but I would consider Gary. I'm pretty familar with the the South Shore train system (my parents moved from the south suburbs to nw indiana several years ago so I ride it out there to visit them) and would happily ride it out to Gary if it meant I'd save some money, but only if they improved weekend service to the city (it now only runs every two hours on the weekends).
 

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The Urban Politician said:
????

Wow, quite a statement. Yet, somehow, you do care about the north suburbs?

Hmmm....... I think I smell some racial bias

Right... because life doesn't exist south of 130th street but is thriving north of Howard? Priceless....
 

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The Urban Politician said:
????

Wow, quite a statement. Yet, somehow, you do care about the north suburbs?

Hmmm....... I think I smell some racial bias
:weird:

No; because O'Hare has created enough sprawl shit to the northwest of Chicago that sucks the life out of the city. We don't need to create another massive economic engine, way in the other direction, to create another massive corridor of office parks, shopping malls and subdivisions.

Gary is a fine location, because it's close to the South Side of the city and the south suburbs, but also within the current urbanized area of the metro and accessible by public transportation.

Gary would create an economic stimulus for the areas around it. Peotone would simply create vast new areas, which we do not need.

Incidentally, I don't really care about the north suburbs either...
 

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The Urban Politician said:
????

Wow, quite a statement. Yet, somehow, you do care about the north suburbs?

Hmmm....... I think I smell some racial bias

So is it color on color racism? I mean he said most Chicagoains...and Chicago is NOT mostly white. So it is race against race no matter what color of their skin. Thanks for being honest...and brining out the complete ugly side of racism in Chicago.


I don't care about any of the damn suburbs. They exploit the city and its workers.

Supporting Peotone is totally against the poor. It is only there to pay big dividends to those who are wealthy no matter what the color. Peotone is another social economical division. Moving the airport out to most white land...when we could be putting our resources into Gary and helping working people get more living wage jobs.

But go ahead...support the wealthy....
 
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