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Terrorist Hits Chiago

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  • Keith Smith
    Propwash 03.31.03 Issue 40/01a J.R. Zoom Campbell Editor-In-Chief jim@aero-news.net Tim Kern News Editor tkern@aero-news.net Amy Sumerlin Feature/Column
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1 8:28 AM
      03.31.03 Issue 40/01a
      J.R. "Zoom" Campbell Editor-In-Chief jim@...
      Tim Kern News Editor tkern@...
      Amy Sumerlin Feature/Column Editor asumer@...

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      Aero-News Alert: Meigs Field Destroyed!

      Stealth Attack Sunday Night Strands 16 Airplanes
      Chicago's rabidly anti-GA Mayor, Richard M Daley held a brief news
      conference Monday afternoon, to explain why he apparently sent heavy
      equipment to Meigs Field late Sunday night. The Chicago Tribune's
      Casey Bukro said in its morning edition, "Meigs Field, the city's
      lakefront airport, was closed early today after construction vehicles
      showed up overnight and dug up large portions of the runway. At dawn,
      the view from the top of the Adler Planetarium showed a series of
      large, X-shaped portions of concrete carved out of the runway's
      center. Large, illuminated 'X' signs marked either end of the runway.
      Sixteen aircraft appeared stranded, parked along a taxiway and unable
      to take off."

      Chicago's famous Police blocked the entrance to the airport.

      The mayor has tried all sorts of legal and quasi-legal means to kill
      the gem of the lakefront, for several years now. Apparently the
      frustration of doing things within the system was too much for him to
      bear. Monday morning, the city awoke to find the runway destroyed.

      We called Meigs, and asked, "What happpened to your airport?" We were
      connected, without comment, to the City's Aviation Department's
      spokeswoman, Monique Bond, who told us to wait for the Mayor's press
      conference, that "all responses will be coming out of the Mayor's

      We called the Mayor's office -- 312-744-3334 -- We asked what had
      happened to the airport, and how the Mayor justified it. The lady at
      the office's press number didn't know when the conference was
      scheduled, but snipped, "The Mayor is going to have an availability
      later on today, OK?" I answered, "That's not OK," and hung up.

      FAA spokesman Paul Turk explained that it's pretty much the city's
      deal: "Meigs is what we call an 'unobligated airport.' It gets no
      federal grant money, no federal facilities."

      Just what happened is still a mystery to the FAA. "We're trying to
      sort this out with Homeland Security and some other folks. We
      continue to look into this; but, as of now, it appears we were not
      given any advance warning," he said.

      Turk speculated (and we wrote it down): "There is a contract control
      tower on the field -- that's a potential issue for their employer."

      No NOTAM
      ANN has also learned that there was no NOTAM issued prior to the
      destruction of the airport -- the Mayor could have killed somebody.
      The NOTAM below was issued after destruction of the runways had

      03/006 - AP CLSD 31 MAR 12:00 UNTIL UFN

      NATCA Weighs In
      Air traffic controllers blasted Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's
      unannounced forced closure of downtown lakefront Meigs Field under
      cloak of darkness Sunday night, assailing the stealth maneuver as a
      major step backwards for Chicago aviation and warning of a domino
      effect on traffic at neighboring airports.

      "Mayor Daley bulldozed his way into aviation history this morning by
      destroying a national treasure and potentially causing unsafe flying
      conditions for the greater Chicagoland airspace," NATCA President
      John Carr said. "This reminds me of the Colts sneaking out of
      Baltimore by dead of night. Clearly, the mayor didn't think his
      policy choices could either figuratively or literally withstand the
      light of day. It's the epitome of arrogance."

      Chicago media are reporting today that before midnight on Sunday,
      workers with construction equipment arrived at Meigs escorted by
      Chicago police and carved out large, X-shaped portions of concrete
      out of the center of the runway. Sixteen aircraft appeared stranded.
      Sources said under terms of a deal with then-Illinois Governor George
      Ryan in December 2001, Mayor Daley agreed to keep Meigs open until

      "Mayor Daley has managed to do what terrorists couldn't -- he
      permanently shut down an airport in the great city of Chicago," Carr
      said. "It's just outrageous."

      The monthly average air traffic volume at Meigs in 2002 was 1,564
      instrument flight rules operations, meaning flights where pilots were
      in contact with air traffic control. But Meigs routinely became a
      much busier airport during events at the nearby McCormick Place
      convention center. In fact, last September, the airport handled 2,273
      IFR operations.

      "The problem with Meigs closing is those 1,500 operations are going
      to have to go somewhere else," remarked Ray Gibbons, president of the
      local NATCA chapter at Chicago Terminal Radar Approach
      Control. "O'Hare and Midway airports are already operating above
      capacity. In fact, we are working more aircraft than we were before
      Sept. 11, 2001. Meigs' closure adds complex and higher volumes of
      traffic to this area's overburdened, understaffed facilities and
      sooner or later that understaffing will reach critical mass. At some
      point in time, the safety of the flying public will be compromised."

      The FAA Statement:
      We at the FAA were concerned to learn this morning of the decision to
      close Meigs Field. Already, we have heard from members of the general
      aviation community and we share their concern. Removing any centrally
      located airport such as Meigs from the system only diminishes
      capacity and puts added pressure on O'Hare and Midway airports.

      The Mayor was reported to have said in his afternoon news conference
      that the airplanes left stranded at Meigs could leave on
      the "adjacent, parallel runway," provided the FAA gave permission.
      That "runway," Mr. Mayor (you nincompoop, sir), is a taxiway. A
      deliberately misleading statement like that was, no doubt, engineered
      to dupe the non-aviation press (and thus the public) into thinking
      that the destruction of the runway was no big deal.

      What's going on? A TSA rep called us back Monday afternoon, and
      said, "We have no idea." The TSA referred us to the Department of
      Homeland Security, whose spokesman, Brian Roehrkasse, told us that
      the decision to wreck the airfield was apparently made in
      Chicago: "That decision did not originate with the Department of
      Homeland Security, or with the TSA," he said.

      FMI: Chicago Tribune story, mayordaley@...; www.natca.org


      A Simple Act of Protest: Boycott Daley's Chicago

      You'll hear a lot of protestations over the next few days and weeks
      because of the lies and deceit of a master politician who has acted
      in his own best interests, instead of those who elected him. An old-
      style political bully, Daley (right) fraudulently wrapped himself in
      the cloak of a protector in claiming that the destruction of Meigs
      was an anti-terrorism action... when in actuality, it was an act of
      political terrorism against a nation's pilots and all the assets they
      once brought to the windy city.

      Meigs may well be dead. And the aviation world has been shaken to the
      core... but the stand we did not take so effectively in the past must
      be taken now. There must be a price to pay for the political
      dishonesty and moral cowardice of the Mayor Daleys of the world,
      there must be a reckoning when one man attacks an entire segment of
      society as well as a national asset, there must be a fearsome and
      costly response to an act that outrages everyone who loves aviation
      and understands that it is an integral part of what moves this
      country forward each and every day. Make Daley pay. Make Chicago pay
      for electing this fool. Make the world understand that aviation is a
      vital resource that is not to be trifled with. Let there be a cost
      for such arrogance and destruction... a cost that no one else will be
      willing to pay again.

      ANN Suggests A World-Wide Boycott of Daley's Chicago
      We believe that aviators the world over must rethink any plans to
      visit, or spend any money in, the Chicago area... if Chicago's myopic
      powers-that-be so want to isolate the aviation world, we should also
      isolate our dollars and business from Chicago and take them
      elsewhere. ANN's Editor-In-Chief was scheduling a trip that would
      have originally taken him through Chicago next month. Instead, he has
      canceled it, and all Chicago area activities that might have meant
      spending money there, and decided to conduct his trip through
      Milwaukee, instead.

      Boycott Chicago. Boycott Daley. If they hate us, they'll not profit
      from us ever again. Boycott Chicago.

      FMI: mayordaley@..., governor@...


      Aviation Community 'In Shock' By Daley Sneak Attack

      It's been a hell of a day. We've been hearing from hundreds of pilots
      and aviation professionals, all over the world, decrying the
      dishonest and fraudulent actions of Chicago's Mayor/Bully Richard

      Herewith a few more comments from some of the aviation community...

      AOPA President Phil Boyer: "We are absolutely shocked and dismayed...
      Mayor Daley has no honor and his word has no value. The sneaky way he
      did this shows that he knows it was wrong."
      Boyer immediately fired faxes off to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey
      and Transportation Security Administration chief Adm. James M. Loy to
      discuss possible solutions.
      "During a period when the country is at war in the Middle East, why
      must the mayor of Chicago also play dictator with a most valuable
      airport and cause additional turmoil inside our own country?" asked
      "While federal and state airport laws may not have been broken by
      this action, in December 2001 he pledged to keep the airport open, in
      support of federal legislation that granted him expansion of O'Hare
      airport. The mayor has broken his promise not only to the citizens of
      his own city, but also to the pilots of Ameri! ca.
      "We will once again explore the legality of this ac tion, but past
      research indicates that the law hasn't been broken," Boyer
      continued. "However, we're not going to allow the mayor to hide
      behind the fiction of 'homeland security' for his reprehensible

      EAA President Tom Poberezny: "The nature of the actions taken by the
      city under the cover of darkness indicates that there was not public
      support for this action... We will continue to work with the Friends
      of Meigs Field and others in trying to save the airport. All options
      will be quickly investigated. Throughout the years, Meigs Field has
      proven its value, both from an economic standpoint and as well as
      from a social standpoint. Thousands of kids have enjoyed EAA Young
      Eagles flights there. Numerous organizations and hundreds of
      volunteers have worked diligently on behalf of the airport."

      President of the Friends of Meigs Field, Rachel Goodstein: Rachel
      wasn't buying the mayor's spurious public safety mantra,
      either. "During WWII, Franklin Roosevelt said we have nothing to fear
      but fear itself, and the mayor proved that today," she said, speaking
      in front of reporters at city hall shortly after the mayor's
      conference concluded. "Businesses, pilots, and many non-flying
      citizens-people are really outraged by what the mayor did. To come in
      the middle of the night and do this...the only reason was to prevent
      a lawsuit from being filed, what he virtually admitted." Goodstein
      was equally appalled that nobody-not the FAA, U.S. or Illinois
      departments of transportation, not even the Meigs tower knew of the
      plans to destroy the runway. "This was a fear-mongering land-grab,
      plain and simple," Goodstein said. "The city is much safer with a
      towered! airport monitoring all air traffic. The fire department i s
      now 10 miles further away which makes boaters less safe. Children
      with emergency medical situations are less safe. This was a
      shortsighted decision. The mayor is taking advantage of fear to get
      something done he always wanted." "The city did this with a
      vengeance," Goodstein said. "If this (Meigs) was a national security
      issue, they could block the runway with trucks. We all know this is
      not a national security issue."

      Bev Dunjill, President of the Tuskegee Airmen's DOD chapter based at
      Meigs Field: Dunjill, a veteran pilot of World War II and Korea,
      spoke on behalf of EAA's Young Eagles program, which has contributed
      more than 6,000 names to the world's largest logbook. "The
      overwhelming majority of the kids flown were inner-city kids, which
      provided them with a structured and fun introduction to the world of
      flight, but now their ability to experience flight has taken a huge
      blow," he said.

      FMI: mayordaley@..., governor@...


      GAMA Decries Mayor's Closure of Meigs Field

      The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is decrying the
      closure of Meigs Field and the destruction of its runway by the City
      of Chicago.

      "This is a sad day for general aviation," said Ed Bolen, President of
      GAMA. "Mayor Daley obviously saw an opportunity, using the ruse of
      security and the cover of night, to pursue his longstanding goal of
      closing Meigs Field. The mayor's action, which comes after years of
      negotiations over the fate of this important airport, smacks of bad
      faith and smears the reputation of general aviation."

      The City of Chicago appears not to have provided advance notice to
      the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of its decision to close
      Meigs. Notifying the FAA prior to the closure of an airport is
      generally required under Part 157 of the Federal Aviation
      Regulations. According to Bolen, "We are currently exploring possible
      legal and administrative options for reopening the airport."

      In 1996, when Mayor Daley first attempted to close Meigs Field and
      turn it into a public park, GAMA joined other aviation associations
      in filing a lawsuit against the City of Chicago. Although that suit
      was ultimately unsuccessful, it helped serve as a catalyst for action
      by the Governor of Illinois and the state legislature which, until
      yesterday, had kept the lakefront airport open.

      GAMA is a national trade association headquartered in Washington, DC
      representing 50 manufacturers of general aviation aircraft, engines,
      avionics and related equipment. GAMA's members also operate fleets of
      aircraft, fixed based operations at many airports and pilot training
      facilities across the United States.

      FMI: www.GAMA.aero


      NATA: Daley's Actions Make Him 'A Laughingstock'

      NATA Outraged By Meigs Field Closure
      National Air Transportation Association (NATA) president James K.
      Coyne (right) has expressed outrage after the overnight destruction
      of the only runway at Chicago's Meigs Field.

      "I'm absolutely shocked that Mayor Daley has taken it upon himself to
      literally plow up the runway at Meigs Field," Coyne stated. "That
      airport has never posed a threat to anyone and should be a major
      source of pride to the Mayor and the city of Chicago. Instead, the
      Mayor's outrageous actions make him a laughingstock."

      Earlier, in the dark of night, heavy equipment was brought onto the
      runway at Meigs Field and large portions of the pavement ripped up,
      making it impossible for airplanes to use the runway. The action,
      apparently undertaken at the Mayor's direction, effectively closes
      the airport and the fixed-base operator there - Signature Flight
      Support - while stranding some 15 airplanes. The Mayor's motivations
      became clearer at an afternoon press conference where, as expected by
      NATA, Mayor Daley defended his actions as taken in the name
      of "national security."

      "For years, Mayor Daley (right) quite properly has used the political
      process in his attempts to close Meigs Field," Coyne said. "In
      response, Congress has supported keeping the airport open, the FAA
      has supported keeping the airport open - everyone except the Mayor
      has supported keeping the airport open. Ultimately, what he could
      not achieve through normal channels he has achieved by hiding behind
      the curtain of 'national security.'

      "According to our contacts within the federal national security
      apparatus, currently there is no credible terrorism threat against
      the City of Chicago," said Coyne. "Daley himself acknowledged that
      no threat exists, yet believing he knows better than federal security
      officials, he uses terrorism fears to justify his actions;
      frightening the very citizens he claims to be protecting. Daley is
      perpetrating the worst kind of fraud on his own citizens. It's
      almost as if a sad April Fools' joke was played a day early.
      Unfortunately, this is no joke.

      "The ramifications of this episode go far beyond the shores of Lake
      Michigan," said Coyne. "Now, any community with the merest whim to
      close their local airport can do so and point to Chicago as their

      NATA's response to the destruction of Meigs Field also included a
      strong letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey.

      "Without swift and strong condemnation by the FAA and others within
      the federal government, Mayor Daley's actions will be known as the
      beginning of the end for this nation's highly developed air
      transportation system," Coyne's letter stated. "Lacking a strong
      federal response, the result of Mayor Daley's actions will be an
      environment in which local authorities may, at their convenience,
      completely disrupt the flow of interstate air commerce."

      FMI: www.nata-online.org


      Friends of Meigs: 'Storm-Trooper Tactics' Close Meigs

      Friends Of Meigs: For Homeland Security, Closing Meigs Is The
      Riskiest Thing Possible
      Official Statement: The City of Chicago today used surprise and shock
      tactics to start demolishing Meigs Field, the world-renowned airport
      serving downtown, ripping up runway without notice in the dark of
      night under police guard. "We are in shock," said Rachel Goodstein,
      president of the Friends of Meigs Field. "The City of Chicago had
      agreed to keep Meigs Field open until 2026," she said, citing a
      December 2001 agreement between Mayor Daley and Governor Ryan.

      "This smacks of totalitarianism," said Goodstein. "It is nothing but
      an unmitigated land grab."

      The demolition came without warning, when dozens of heavy earth-
      movers descended on Meigs shortly after it closed at 10:00 P.M.
      Sunday night. The Friends of Meigs only received warning via news
      media inquiries. When Friends of Meigs representatives tried to visit
      the airport to talk to officials about the situation, they were
      turned away from the area by armed police.

      "We understand that the City is trying to use `homeland security' as
      an excuse to destroy Meigs without notice," said Goodstein. "Of all
      of the possible things they could do, that's the worst possible for
      public security. If there is a security issue at an airport, you work
      with the users to resolve it in the least disruptive manner, you
      don't destroy millions of dollars of taxpayer property."

      The Friends of Meigs Field have repeatedly pointed out that—not only
      does Meigs Field regularly handle medevac flights and air-sea rescue
      operations for the lakefront and downtown high rises—it also is the
      facility responsible for control of all air traffic over downtown
      Chicago. "Meigs Field is what protects us from what the Mayor fears,"
      said Goodstein. Meigs Field's control tower controls all traffic
      within 4 ½ miles of downtown Chicago. Also, since September 11, 2001,
      security has been tighter at Meigs than at any other small airport in
      the state.

      FMI: www.friendsofmeigs.org, mayordaley@...


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    • jerb
      I smell an April Fool here! jerb
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 1 5:16 PM
        I smell an April Fool here!
      • Beesticker@aol.com
        In a message dated 4/1/03 7:16:31 PM Central Standard Time, ... Uh, no... Meigs is destroyed, and that s no foolin I get to ride by the wreck twice a day to
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 1 5:41 PM
          In a message dated 4/1/03 7:16:31 PM Central Standard Time,
          ulflyer@... writes:

          > I smell an April Fool here!

          Uh, no... Meigs is destroyed, and that's no foolin'

          I get to ride by the wreck twice a day to and from work.

          Multiple X's carved into the runway, 3 feet deep. 16 airplanes stranded.
          All done in the dead of night, no warning to the FAA, the airport, or anyone.

          Griffith, Indiana (residence)
          Chicago, Illinois (work)
        • dflyingmoose
          I heard Broomie was a backhoe operator, and a democrat. but I also heard... She s GA. Who to believe? Never been to Chicago. Never had the reason. Now a reason
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 1 6:24 PM
            I heard Broomie was a backhoe operator, and a democrat.

            but I also heard...

            She's GA.

            Who to believe?

            Never been to Chicago. Never had the reason.

            Now a reason to nevergo.

            X that one out!

          • jerb
            I thought it was a April Fools joke. Well it looks like the report on Chicago Meigs field is true. Below is the AOPA link with a report. Also Aero-News.
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 1 11:50 PM
              I thought it was a April Fools joke. Well it looks like the report on
              Chicago Meigs field is true. Below is the AOPA link with a report. Also

              This is just the beginning of abuse I expected would occur with Home Land
              Security. Who is watching the guards dogs. If we stand silent we condone
              this type of action. Speak up now or expect to loose more freedom and
              liberty. Contact the FAA, and your national representatives an express
              your protest over the abuse and hold them accountable. Looks like were
              going to have our own battles here at home to fight.
            • jerb
              From the Rec.Aviation.Pilots list. Here is web site where you can look up information on contacting your representatives.
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 2 12:09 AM
                From the Rec.Aviation.Pilots list.

                Here is web site where you can look up information on contacting your


                An here you can write the Mayor:


                Articles in the Chicago Newspapers:



                A interesting rumor:
                Not long ago Mayor Daley moved into a new luxury home in Dearborn Station, a
                gentrified residential area just adjacent to Meigs.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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