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September 26, 2002

Governor Announces Federal Grant for Third Airport Master Plan Study

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the state has received $3 million in federal funds for the next phase of engineering on the South Suburban Airport.

The federal funds will allow the state to begin Tier II work which includes the initial phase of the airport Master Plan and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The Master Plan will review the facilities for the inaugural airport using input from the advisory group formed this summer. It is the overall plan for development of the airport and will determine runway length, instrumentation, terminal development, air cargo facilities, and other improvements. The EIS will study the impacts of constructing the airport.

"This is great news for the region and especially for the South Suburban communities. The grant continues our movement toward construction of the South Suburban Airport," Governor Ryan said. "The Peotone Airport will provide an economic boost to the south suburbs and create tens of thousands of jobs."

The Governor said the federal grant also shows the FAA's support for the regional airport plan agreed to with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. The plan includes a new airport in Peotone, an expanded, modernized O'Hare and a commitment to keep Meigs field open for up to 25 years.

"I want to thank the FAA for their support for our long-term plan for the region's aviation needs," Gov. Ryan said.

The $3 million from the Federal Aviation Administration will be matched by $300,000 in state funds. The state will likely request additional federal assistance to complete the Master Plan and the EIS process in the next fiscal year.

The Inaugural Airport will be built on approximately 4,200 acres in eastern Will County, with one runway and a terminal. So far, the Department of Transportation has purchased 527 acres toward the Inaugural Airport and will have made offers on nearly all the needed property by the end of the year.


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