...FAA Sanctions Vindication For Friends Of Meigs
Friends of Meigs spokesman Steve Whitney said the proposed FAA sanctions support the notion that the terrorism excuse was a sham. "This proves we've been correct from the start," said Whitney. "The city closed Meigs illegally and under false pretenses. They should apologize and make amends." Whitney gave credit to AOPA for bringing about the FAA's action. AOPA laid the formal complaint that led to the investigation and President Phil Boyer wasn't shy about his personal animosity toward Chicago's mayor. "As much as we relish sticking it to Mayor Daley, we still would rather have the airport," he said. Although Meigs is almost certainly gone forever, the FAA sanctions and other developments sparked by its destruction will make it much more perilous for local governments to arbitrarily close airports. "You cannot unilaterally change the National Airspace System," Boyer said. Last year, Congress passed a law that would increase the penalty for closing airports without a 30-day notice to a maximum of $10,000 a day. The fine proposed against Chicago is based on the old rate of $1,100 a day.