...And Pawns To Politics

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If there is any politician who knows how to close an airport, it's Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Now proponents of a privately funded field in suburban Peotone are wondering if the mastermind of the destruction of Meigs Field can stop their project before it's started. Daley doesn't want Chicago's third regional airport in Peotone but those behind the plan are trying to structure it so the powerful mayor can't scuttle it. They plan to raise private money to build the airport, and Daley has no official say in whether the state or federal authorities approve it. However, Chicago Business says backers are anxiously awaiting the wily mayor's move. Pushing the proposal is Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Chicago), who has facilitated formation of a coalition of suburban communities to back the airport plan. The resulting intergovernmental agency will, after it's formalized next month, solicit private-sector partners to design, fund, build and operate the airport. Meanwhile, support continues to be shown for reopening Meigs Field but that doesn't seem likely. Earlier this month, the National Air Tour flew over the ripped-up runway in a show of solidarity. The 25 antique aircraft were supposed to stop at Meigs but had to go to Lansing instead.