Locals Want to Build 7E7 'Dreamliner'
The airport's not a
done deal, but neither is the airplane: it's a match made in
South of Chicago, near Peotone (IL) is the site for
Chicagoland's proposed next airport. It's the answer to tomorrow's
question, that question of where all the additional Chicagoland
commercial air traffic will go. Peotone has the land available
(unlike O'Hare, and clearly unlike Midway), and it's in Illinois
(unlike Gary, Indiana), so state and even city politicians
can imagine a whiff of the tax revenues.
Peotone, assuming the airport is built, will also the closest
practical airport to Boeing's Chicago headquarters, so why not put
the 7E7 factory there?
'Iffiness' could help both arguments.
Well, there's still that question: will there be a Peotone
airport? With no runway, there would be no factory. That argument
runs both ways, though, for airport-boosters: with the announcement
that Boeing would locate its 1000-person workforce and supporting
infrastructure there, the Peotone Airport idea would have yet
another compelling reason to get built.
infrastructure is already there, or readily-available; land is
relatively cheap; and Peotone, though decidedly "the sticks" in
relation to Chicago, could lure Chicago-area workers, especially on
the area's excellent commuter trains. Illinois put a bundle of
money into recruiting Boeing, and even the duchy of Chicago would
benefit somewhat, as well, from putting more of Boeing's future
Boeing is having a rough summer, as it pays fines for its
employees' cheating on contracts, for being exposed as having been
in receipt of some questionable 'help' from a DoD purchasing agent
(who now works for Boeing), and for its transparent 767 tanker
program; but it's still a 600-pound gorilla economically, and that
gorilla is still due its respect.
The Peotone Airport idea deserves some respect, as well; and if
the two ideas can be made to reinforce each other, both will face
better prospects of success. All Peotone has to do is beat several
sites in Texas, in California, near St Louis (in both Missouri and
Illinois), and in Washington state... and a dozen or so 'lesser
We wonder, if Peotone wins the site selection, will Boeing execs
then petition for a helipad, or maybe a GA-accessible runway, near