Thursday, March 26, 2009

More propaganda from Gary

This article renews some tired, old talk about expanding Gary Airport, as if it could be the third major Chicago airport, or a substitute for the proposed South Suburban Airport. Although the article suggests that Gary is further ahead in its planning, it should be noted that the Federal Aviation Administration and the states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin previously considered the idea and rejected it.

Gary's problems were many: It lacks the size to become a major airport and is too constrained by nearby industrial, commercial, residential and transportation activities. Expanding it into Lake Michigan would create major environmental problems. It biggest problem, though, is that's airspace would conflict with O'Hare Airport's, the same problem that killed Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's lunatic proposed airport in Lake Calumet.

Chicago taxpayers, who are facing another financial crisis, need to be constantly reminded that Daley has funneled millions of dollars into the "Gary/Chicago Airport," in an attempt to kill the South Suburban Airport. It should be noted that the same FAA/tri-state study that ruled out Gary had settled on two sites as the preferred location of the new airport: a "bi-state" site that straddled the Indiana-Illinois border and the--guess what--the South Suburban site. The Indiana governor at the time vetoed the idea, so it came down to the South Suburban site.

Planning and development work had begun on the south suburban project until Daley, as the newly elected Chicago mayor who was indignant that the any jobs and contracts should go to the suburbs and not his cronies, politically "put a brick" on its development.

As anyone who uses O'Hare can tell you, we have been paying for it ever since in terms of diminished Chicago-area aviation capacity.

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