Username and password, por favor? Registration is required to view the article.Originally posted by Chet
Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey
Really? Sorry. I must be unknowingly cookied or it recognizes the local ISP.
Dan: "s'il vous plaît" would have been better.
Mitchell isn't even in Chicago's CMSA. I know Milwaukee would love to get Chicago transportation money, but it just isn't realistic.
Mitchell Int'l doesn't need to be within the Chicago CMSA in order to be a useful alternative to crowded Chicago airports.Originally posted by jordanb
I believe it was mentioned in a thread a few weeks ago that Mitchell is already an attractive alternative, especially to those who live in the northern parts of Chicago's CMSA, because it's easily accessible and cheaper than O'Hare. The people who run Mitchell know that, and have focused a good chunk of marketing efforts at such travelers, as several articles from the Journal Sentinel have indicated in the past couple of months, including the one to which Chet linked above.
Not only that, but Mitchell will soon be even better connected to the Chicago area when the airport Amtrak station opens later this year, which will offer rail access directly to Downtown Chicago and Glenview, IL (I believe 6 trains/day on Sun, 7 trains/day Mon-Sat--with hopes of increasing to 10 trains/day with high speed rail improvements, according to Amtrak/WisDOT proposals). Add to that the possiblility of a Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Metra extension, though with an indirect connection to Mitchell Int'l, and the airport will be pretty well-linked to Chicagoland. Not to mention bus connections. No, none of those options come with fancy hourly service or anything like that, but it's certainly better than nothing at all. It is also a big step in thinking a bit more inter-regionally in the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor, will continue to be filled in with growth during the coming decades (at least on the Wisconsin side, I don't know about south of the border). I think such connections could also appeal to non-local travelers, too--not just people from northeastern Illinois/southeastern Wisconsin.
Also note, the article is not about Mitchell getting money from Chicago, or not making improvements to O'Hare, or not making better use of the airport in Gary or Midway, or even building/not building an airport in the cornfields of southern Chicagoland. It's really just about recognizing that Mitchell Int'l can be used more to its potential and how it could possibly be used to help out, most likely just even a little bit, with the situation concerning Chicago's air traffic congestion.
I have flown out of Milwaukee a few times. I thought that it a nice little airport. (and was one of the closer large air ports when I lived in the UP. )
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.
Caught this in the Tribune today:
O'Hare plan has House skeptics
Congressmen reprove Daley
By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter
Published September 10, 2004
WASHINGTON -- A key congressional leader said Thursday that expanding O'Hare International Airport would yield only a modest increase in flight capacity and suggested Mayor Richard Daley may have weakened support for the idea by abruptly shutting down Meigs Field.
At a hearing on the $15 billion expansion proposal, House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) raised questions that echoed claims of O'Hare-expansion opponents that the program fails to deliver its promise of increasing capacity and reducing delays.
The testimony also reaffirmed statements by Federal Aviation Administration officials that, despite City Hall's confidence, approval of the project is not guaranteed.
"Expanding O'Hare may not be the capacity panacea," Mica said. "Bringing backhoes in the middle of the night into Meigs Field to eliminate capacity, I have to say, has not helped the situation."
The growing skepticism over O'Hare expansion, and lingering anger over last year's unannounced closing of Meigs Field, dampened efforts by U.S. Rep. William Lipinski (D-Ill.) to win the support of colleagues to pressure the FAA to speed up its review of new O'Hare runways.
"Congress must ask some very serious questions about the use of federal funds" for the project, Mica said at the start of the hearing, at which executives from American Airlines and United Air Lines and Chicago's aviation commissioner testified in support of expanding O'Hare.
"Is it a wise expenditure to spend huge amounts of money and not resolve the capacity issue? Should we invest in alternative reliever airports?" Mica asked.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told the panel the long-term solution to delays at Chicago requires more capacity at O'Hare and elsewhere in the region.
She said the FAA is working with the state to build a new south suburban airport near Peotone.
Blakey said the FAA would not be rushed into a decision on the airport.
"I would caution you," she said. "I think one of the things we all understand is that this is not only a complex project, but quite controversial. It has real opponents raising important, key issues that have to be evaluated."
U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) criticized Daley for reneging on a deal he made in late 2001 with then-Gov. George Ryan to build new O'Hare runways while allowing Meigs to remain open.
"I am very upset with the actions taken by the mayor of Chicago with regard to Meigs Field," said Ehlers, adding that business people in his district used the convenient downtown airport. "Suddenly in the dark of night, Meigs was closed. I regard that as not acting in good faith and certainly I am not inclined at all to try to help solve the O'Hare problem."
Lipinski (D-Ill.), who is the strongest ally of Daley, requested the hearing on O'Hare, which this year has recorded the worst on-time performance of any U.S. airport.
Lipinski reminded the panel that it already held a hearing on Meigs, adding with a smile: "I think it was one hearing that I did not request."
Chicago Aviation Commissioner John Roberson told the lawmakers that O'Hare expansion would produce "dramatic delay reduction." But Roberson did not repeat the mayor's claims when the project was announced in 2001 that redesigning the airfield would cut delays 79 percent overall and permit up to 1.6 million takeoffs and landings annually.
Recent FAA studies have so far not confirmed the city's delay-reduction statistics. And the studies indicate that congestion will bounce back as flights increase.
Mica said authorities who have testified before Congress generally agree that O'Hare's capacity problems are "here to stay" because the increase in flights will eat up delay-reduction savings.
"The experts are telling me that even with $15 billion worth of improvements at O'Hare, there may not be significant improvements in capacity," said Mica, whose panel oversees the FAA and has a strong voice in which airport projects are approved.
While U.S. Reps. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) and Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) told the panel that existing airports in their districts, in Rockford and Gary, respectively, could immediately help solve O'Hare congestion, Mica gave a boost to the Peotone airport.
"Instead of putting huge amounts of federal money into O'Hare, I've got Peotone [as an option]," Mica said. "I could probably build a big new airport there for a fraction of the cost. Maybe we should be looking at building people movers [light rail] between Peotone and downtown Chicago. We need to be looking at alternatives to just ganging all the air traffic at O'Hare."
Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune
What I love is how a congressman from Florida is pushing a new super-airport in a greenfield way outside Chicago!
Looks like there should be a fourth airport in Chicagoland:
Gary-Chicago International Airport-Chicago's Best Approach!
I mean, shoot, from Gary you can fly Hooters Air and Casino Express!
SOME say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Robert Frost (1874–1963) (From Harper’s Magazine, December 1920.)