residents woke up this morning to find full-page ads from AOPA in
their Sunday newspapers. The ads, which run today and Monday in
Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, the city's two largest newspapers,
are billed as "open letter" to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley on
the "destruction of Meigs Field."
"We played fair with you," begins the letter from AOPA President
Phil Boyer. Recalling the decade of lobbying, legislation and legal
action to preserve Meigs, Boyer reminded the mayor he had promised
to keep the airport open for at least 25 years.
"We took you at your word," the letter continues, but "you
opened fire on us by bulldozing the airport in the middle of the
night. Not to protect the city from terrorist attacks. No, Mr.
Mayor, you wantonly destroyed Meigs Field under cover of darkness
because you knew that deception and lies could get you what free
and open debate could not. And that you could get away with it.
"I would say, 'Shame!" But it is obvious that you have none.
"Now, the time for playing fair is over."
Boyer questioned how anyone, including the mayor's supporters,
could ever trust him again.
And he said that the nation's pilots were now giving Daley fair
warning - something he had not had the decency to give.
"We will use every legitimate tactic in the book to do whatever
we have to do to restore Meigs Field to the service of general
aviation," Boyer wrote in the ad. "You have seriously
underestimated the resolve of America's pilots. In short, Mr.
Mayor, we shall not allow you to clip our wings."