Fri, Sep 23, 2005
Daley's Lawyers Demand Court Hearing
While, as the saying goes, you can't fight City Hall, there's
nothing that says City Hall can't fight you -- especially if you're
the FAA and especially if the subject is Meigs Field. Mayor Richard
Daley's administration has decided to fight a $33,000 fine levied
by the FAA over the midnight raid on Meigs Field, which left the
runway unusable and eventually led to the near-downtown airport's
At the center of the issue leading to the fine is the city's
failure to provide 30-days' notice to the FAA pending Meigs'
closure on March, 30th, 2003.
"There wasn't enough time to allow
us to give the FAA 30 days' notice.... They didn't want to continue
an airport at that site. Once they canceled the lease, we had no
basis for continuing to operate an airport at that location,"
Chicago Law Department spokeswoman Jennifer Doyle told the Chicago
Sun-Times. "We have a substantial amount of evidence supporting the
fact that our closure falls within the exceptions to that rule, and
we want the opportunity to present that information."
That just doesn't make sense to the president of the Friends of
Meigs Field. He told the Sun-Times Daley's contention that Meigs
posed a security risk in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was nothing
more than a ruse to cover his real dream of turning Meigs -- and
all of Northerly Island -- into a city park.
"If it had been an emergency, they could have closed the runway
through some other means -- like parking trucks" on it, he
"Our position remains that they acted against federal
regulations and, as a result, they killed a vibrant city airport,"
AOPA spokeswoman Kathleen Roy told the Sun-Times. The AOPA filed
the FAA complaint that led to the $33,000 fine.
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