Peotone Airport

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

There's now a name and a partnership to go with a plan to build a new airport in Peotone. A U.S. Canadian joint venture will develop, finance and operate the proposed Abraham Lincoln National Airport.

Stateline transportation leaders have been vocal in their opposition to building another Illinois airport in Peotone.

"It's already here in Rockford. What we should be looking at for an effective transportation system is to be linking up our existing airports to high speed rail, not building a new airport in Peotone," says Jim Powers, a member of the Greater Rockford Transportation Coalition.

Now that plans for Peotone appear to be taking off, concerns are growing.

"It would be competition," says Dave Linberg, president of the Greater Rockford Airport Coalition.

Getting a Peotone airport up and running would take years, but some say it could have an immediate impact on efforts to bring new airlines to Rockford.

"Any time there's a new airport on the drawing board, then an airline has to look and say do we go into Rockford now or do we wait a few years and see if Peotone is where we should go," says Linberg.

Transportation leaders say all Illinois residents should be concerned because tax dollars would be used. Peotone leaders claim the airport will be privately financed, but this Rockford resident isn't buying it.

"In an airport there are huge infrastructure demands. Just take highways for example. There's huge demands placed on the state," said Powers.

Meanwhile, the airport is still short of its goal of collecting 25,000 surveys in an effort to bring a new airline to Rockford. However, those close to the issue say they still expect a new air carrier to be in place at the Greater Rockford Airport this fall.


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