Chicago Faces Little Fines For Meigs

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But Airport Won't Reopen...

The city of Chicago could face almost $100,000 in fines for its sudden closure of Meigs Field last March 30 but an incipient FAA investigation won't bring the beloved airport back to life. As AVweb told you last Thursday, the FAA has agreed (almost a year later) to an investigation into the late-night destruction of Meigs' lone runway while aircraft were parked on the ramp. The closure allegedly violated notice provisions, which require an airport owner to provide at least 30 and up to 90 days of warning to the FAA that it intends to close an airport. In what some likened to the act of a dictator, Mayor Richard Daley at midnight sent a battalion of heavy equipment, under police guard, into the sealed-off airport and ordered workmen to carve large X's out of the runway. Daley originally said it was done to safeguard downtown Chicago from a terrorist attack, but it's universally acknowledged that the overriding reason was to convert the waterfront property into a park. In fact, the first new trees are scheduled to be planted in the spring.