The Peotone/South Suburban Airport is a terrible idea. It has always been politically driven and not market or transportation driven. Ask the airlines.
Recently, a group of politicians asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker to pour another $150 million into this bottomless pork-barrel project. Endorsing the highly polluting aviation industry would go against Pritzker’s pledge to put Illinois on the pathway to 100 percent renewable energy by midcentury. Rail and trucking have much greater potential for converting to renewables.
If this so-called public/private project is built, it will cost taxpayers many hundreds of millions of dollars in free land and tax incentives to developers, plus the immense cost of upgrading surrounding infrastructure. And when the project fails, the taxpayers will be left holding the bag. The failed Mid-America Airport in downstate Illinois is a good example of what happens when the Illinois Department of Transportation and shortsighted, deluded politicians insist on projects that are not market driven.
STAND (Shut This Airport Nightmare Down) has a plan for selling state-owned land near Peotone that would return $70 million to state coffers and have enough left over to fund community college and university certificate programs teaching local vegetable and fruit production and marketing.
President of STAND (Shut This Airport Nightmare Down)