The FAA is demanding the city of Chicago pay a $33,000 civil penalty for the destruction of Merrill C. Meigs Field (CGX).
The waterfront airport was destroyed two years ago when Mayor Richard Daley ordered heavy equipment to carve large Xs into the runway under the cover of night, rendering the airport useless and stranding several airplanes based there.
The FAA, as well as several aviation advocacy groups, protested the sudden closure. The FAA noted that federal law requires at least a 30-day notice to be given before an airport can be closed. As a result of the failure to provide that notice, the city became liable for civil fines.
The FAA also is investigating an allegation that Chicago officials illegally diverted $1.5 million in funds from O’Hare to pay for the destruction of Meigs. The money is supposed to be used for airport improvements.