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July 31, 2002

Governor Ryan Seeks Federal Funding to Advance Work for South Suburban Airport

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the state is filing an application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for $5.9 million in federal funds for the next phase of engineering to move forward work on the South Suburban Airport.

“Earlier this month we cleared a major milestone with FAA’s approval of the Tier I environmental impact statement that found the site for the new South Suburban Airport to be technically and environmentally sound," Governor Ryan said. "That key decision capped years of work. We are now going to move quickly to the next step, which is Tier II. Construction of the South Suburban Airport will provide a significant economic benefit to the south suburbs, including the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.

“I am also proposing the creation of an advisory committee made up of local officials to advise the Illinois Department of Transportation on all elements of planning for the airport. This group will provide a forum for two-way communication between the department and local officials on planning for areas adjacent to the proposed airport.”

This committee is being created in response to the local desire to come together to discuss these issues. It will also assess the potential for privatization.

Membership of the advisory committee will be comprised of the county executive of Will County; Kankakee County Board Chairman; Kankakee River Valley Chamber of Commerce; South Suburban Mayors’ and Managers’ Association; Will County Governmental League; Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce; Will County Center for Economic Development; and the mayors or village Presidents of Beecher, Crete, Monee, Peotone and University Park.

Tier II work will include preliminary engineering for construction of airfield facilities, such as runways, taxiways, radar and terminal buildings. The Tier II work also includes master planning, airport layout approval, and obtaining the needed federal environmental permits. The Illinois Department of Transportation expects the Tier II work to take 18 to 24 months following the FAA’s approval of the application. The state will provide $660,000, 10 percent matching funds, in order to secure the federal funds.


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