Spends $200K Battling Agency Over Meigs Closure
Aero-News Opinion By Associate Editor Rob Finfrock
Is this smart business... or just the way things are done in
Chicago? Well, we'll leave that one up to you... but according to
several media sources, the city of Chicago has run up a significant
bill in fighting a $33,000 fine levied by the FAA over the covert
closing of Meigs Field more than four years ago.
Crain's Chicago Business says the "Kingdom of Daley" -- er, the
Windy City -- has spent over $200,000 to fight the fine.
For those of you without a calculator handy, we'll run the
numbers... that's over six times the amount of the fine. In all,
the city has spent over half a million on fighting Meigs
Why, you may ask? Well, from the sound of it... it comes down to
an unwillingness to admit the city was wrong.
As Aero-News reported last
September, the FAA imposed the fine because the city
failed to provide 30 days notice of its intent to close its
Officials with the city told WLS-TV that were the city to pay
the fine... it would leave itself open to other legal action over
the city's closure of the field... and that, of course, would be
Meanwhile, the FAA isn't exactly waiting by the mailbox for a
check to arrive. The Chicago Tribune reports the agency is
investigating whether Chicago improperly used $2.9 million in
airport development funds to close Meigs.
And THAT, says the Tribune, could result in another fine from
the FAA... for up to $8.7 million. If the current proportion
holds... Chicago had better plan on spending over $52 million to
We'll ask again... is that smart business?