Chicago is home to two major airports: Midway and O'Hare. These airports serve millions of passengers each year and are vital to the city's economy. However, for decades there has been talk of a third airport being built in Chicago's far southern suburbs. The project has been mired in controversy and delays, but a new bill is attempting to force a decision about the airport's future. In this blog post, we will examine the possibility of a third airport in Chicago and its potential impact.

The History of the Third Airport Project

The State of Illinois has spent $97 million buying over 4,500 acres of land in Will County for the proposed airport project. However, the project has been beset by delays, and the land remains largely undeveloped. Turning the site into a cargo airfield capable of hosting widebody jets would require significant investment and the construction of cargo facilities. Despite the challenges, some developers believe that they have the capacity and financing to bring the project to fruition.

De-icing of the airplane, Vaclav Havel Airport Prague
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The Current Political Landscape

State Representative Will Davis is behind a bill that would force the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to make a decision about the airport project. The legislation requires IDOT to determine within six months whether a private developer is willing and able to take on the project. While some political leaders in the project's footprint are cautious, others believe that the project could bring significant economic benefits to the region.

Governor JB Pritzker's administration has allocated nearly $160 million for road and utility improvements that could accommodate additional industrial traffic. However, the governor has expressed skepticism about the project, stating that the state needs to ensure that there is a commitment from cargo carriers before moving forward.

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The possibility of a third airport in Chicago has been on the table for decades. While the project has faced numerous setbacks, a new bill may force a decision about its future. If the project goes ahead, it could bring significant economic benefits to the region. However, it would also have environmental impacts that need to be taken into consideration. As with any major infrastructure project, careful planning and stakeholder engagement are crucial to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs.

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