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December 6, 2001

Governor Ryan, Mayor Daley Agree to Aviation Expansion Plan
Includes O’Hare Expansion, Third Airport in Peotone, and Meigs Field Remains Open

CHICAGO – Governor George H. Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley have agreed to a comprehensive aviation plan for the Chicagoland region including expanding O’Hare International Airport, building an airport in south suburban Peotone area, and keeping Meigs Field open for 25 years.

"This is the World Series of economic development projects," Governor Ryan said. "Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created over the next 20 years from O'Hare, Midway and the Peotone Airport project.

"I thank Senator Durbin for his leadership as well as the leadership of my friends House Speaker Denny Hastert and Congressman Bill Lipinski."

Details of the Agreement:

  • O’Hare will add one runway. The seven existing runways will be reconfigured to include a southern runway.

  • There will be western access to O’Hare.

  • An additional $450 million will be invested in soundproofing homes and schools near O’Hare.

  • Meigs Field will remain open until January 1, 2026, but could be closed at any time after January 1, 2006, if allowed under state law.

"This is a good deal all around," Governor Ryan said. "We are going to create jobs, jobs, jobs. With this agreement, Chicago will remain the air transportation hub of the world."


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