Gov Pritzker should not reject third airport push.
While electors are considering the point-of-view expressed by STAND and Mr. Ochsenfeld, please consider another significant point-of-view. Fundamentally, the 2nd Congressional District needs an economic shot in the arm, leg, and backside that can’t be accomplished with a lesser project. Our state must invest in revenue producing projects as part of an economic recovery plan.
The Southland, which extends from 53rd Street in Chicago all the way down to the entire Kankakee County, was ravaged by the Great Recession and has not recovered while other areas flourished. Most of the reasons are apparent, but not worth a discussion today. Let’s start with the small and weak implementation of the planning that has been rendered. If there is anything wrong with bringing the SSA to fruition, it is because the vision is too small.
What is needed at that site is an aerotropolis style airport that can drive industrial, commercial and residential in an area where it is sorely needed. The Aerotropolis Development Group, people who have been working on this project for over 30 years, has such a plan. It represents the difference between 15,000 jobs and 80 to 100,000 jobs.
It serves the State of Illinois and benefits all of the people within it to gain an economic engine that can bring new revenue to our state and that can help us to avoid being taxed into oblivion. This plan can bring $20-25 billion into the local economy.
In addition, none of the current plans for growth at O’Hare or Rockford will satisfy the transportation needs of Chicago, the center of air, rail, truck and water transportation. Right now, the Chicago transportation network is impeding the movement of goods and services from coast to coast. Anything our state can do to relieve the tremendous loss of revenue and speed in this bottleneck should be entertained and appreciated by many more Illinois residents than NIMBYs that fundamentally hate change.
All of Kankakee County should stand behind this new plan for the prosperity it can bring to our children and grandchildren. It can enrich today’s adults and seniors, too.
Elbert B. Shaw