Stateline leaders are trying to ground a proposal to build an airport in Peotone. Thanksgiving travelers pack the Greater Rockford Airport, but below the din of travel hustle bustle, talk of the Peotone airport plan can be heard.
A plan to build an airport in Peotone surfaced in response to severe congestion at O'Hare, but with passenger service off the ground in Rockford again, just 60 miles from O'Hare, local leaders say there's no need to spend state and federal dollars to build a new airport.
"To move forward in developing another expensive airport pf questionable value on top of O'Hare expansion would be in our feeling completely fiscally irresponsible," says Dave Lindberg.
Plans for the Peotone airport are moving forward with strong support from leaders south Chicago suburbs. They say the project will be a private-public partnership and require no tax dollars.
Mayor Craig Johnson says, "There will be no tax dollars from either federal of state involved in this airport. That's what makes it unique but also that's what makes it move quickly."
Stateline leaders argue that growth is moving north of Chicago, not south and say the economic landscape is much different now from three years ago.
Next week the federal aviation administration will review the Peotone airport plan and local leaders will make sure the FAA hears their side of the story. The Greater Rockford Transportation Coalition is proposing that some money be diverted from the Peotone project to build a high speed rail system. The train would serve the five Chicagoland airports, including Rockford. The FAA hearing on Peotone is next Wednesday.