I want to take issue with Charles Spence’s comments about the (perhaps) third Chicago Airport (Capital Comments, Jan. 6 issue).
Jesse Jackson Jr.’s “Suburban Coalition” consists of ZERO communities in Will County, where the airport is planned. It does include some towns around O’Hare, who will do anything to keep O’Hare from expanding.
The fact that this would essentially give control to those commanded by “King Richard” Daley, he of Meigs Field infamy, should not be glossed over.
What Congressman Weller’s plan will do is give control of the airport to the communities surrounding the airport, and the Will County Airport Authority.
What part of this did Mr. Spence not get? Or is he merely quoting from one of Jesse’s press releases? If he would like me to, I will give him more information from someone who actually lives in the affected area.
My own feeling is that the airport will become another white elephant, much like the MidAmerica “reliever” airport for St. Louis. The airlines said, “don’t build it, we won’t use it.” It was built anyway, and guess what? There is no activity there — just acres of concrete over some of the best farmland in the world.
There is not even an FBO to sell me fuel if I flew in there.
Crest Hill, Ill.
CHARLES SPENCE RESPONDS: Thanks for your comments about the report on the proposal for a third airport near Chicago. I appreciate getting feedback from readers. Perhaps, as you say, control of the proposed airport might get in the wrong hands. I don’t know. However, I favor construction of new airports, regardless of where control might lie. The nation is losing airports weekly. This past year the FAA has announced the addition of one new major runway — not an airport, but a runway. We in aviation do things backward. The railroads have one or two tracks leading into a city and then large marshaling yards. In aviation we have unlimited tracks leading to a community, then try to put all the planes on a single airport. Forty-five years ago when Dulles Airport was built outside Washington, communities and aviation groups complained wildly about the waste and the covering up of pristine Virginia farmland. I earned my instrument rating by flying into there and the controllers were delighted to get the flights. Now, Dulles is one of the busiest airports and expanding. I believe we should support development of any airport, anywhere. We can always get into moving them into proper control.