Although Meigs Field is gone, at least part of the property will be returned to aviation use.
The city of Chicago plans to open a heliport for emergency services on the site of the former lakeside airport. The heliport will not be open to the public, but intended for use by private contractors only. The pad is slated to be open by late April.
Meigs Field was destroyed in March 2003 when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley ordered heavy equipment operators to tear up the runway in the middle of the night. Daley claimed the destruction of the airport was to protect Chicago from terrorist threats, but later admitted no direct threats had been made.
The sudden closure of the airport generated a strong backlash in the aviation community, including a fine levied by the FAA.