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Thread: Chicago's 3rd Airport: Rockford

  1. #1
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Chicago's 3rd Airport: Rockford

    I believe the Greater Chicagoland's 3rd airport already exists. It's Rockford, baby!! The airport has gone under major revitilizations and is well on it's way to establishing itself as a major airport. It already has Trans Meridian Airlines, Hooters Air, among others. There are more to come too. Rockford is on the verge of beoming a prosperous city and attracting business once again. And as Chicago's suburbs/exurbs now extend to Huntley and Marengo, which are only a 30 minute drive down I-90 from Rockford, it has a considerable market base and could see lots of growth in the near future. What do you all think, especially Illinois and Wisonsin people. Is Rockford a better idea than Peotone?

    Potential market size:
    Winnebago County: 300,000
    Ogle County: 50,000
    Boone County: 50,000
    Stephenson County: 50,000
    DeKalb County: 100,000
    Rock County, WI: 150,000
    McHenry County: 300,000
    Kane County: 450,000
    Lee County: 30,000
    LaSalle County: 110,000

    TOTAL: 1,590,000
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    I believe the Greater Chicagoland's 3rd airport already exists. It's Rockford, baby!! The airport has gone under major revitilizations and is well on it's way to establishing itself as a major airport. It already has Trans Meridian Airlines, Hooters Air, among others. There are more to come too. Rockford is on the verge of beoming a prosperous city and attracting business once again. And as Chicago's suburbs/exurbs now extend to Huntley and Marengo, which are only a 30 minute drive down I-90 from Rockford, it has a considerable market base and could see lots of growth in the near future. What do you all think, especially Illinois and Wisonsin people. Is Rockford a better idea than Peotone?

    Potential market size:
    Winnebago County: 300,000
    Ogle County: 50,000
    Boone County: 50,000
    Stephenson County: 50,000
    DeKalb County: 100,000
    Rock County, WI: 150,000
    McHenry County: 300,000
    Kane County: 450,000
    Lee County: 30,000
    LaSalle County: 110,000

    TOTAL: 1,590,000
    Well, Milwaukee-Mitchell ('MKE') has been promoting itself as 'Chicago's 3rd Airport' for a while, too, so it is all a matter of semantics. MKE is pretty convenient to the Lake County, IL suburbs and now has a handy Amtrak stop ('MKA') near the terminal.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I consider Mitchell to be Wisconsin's airport. The market of pretty much all of Southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, West Bend, Waukesha) as well as Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, and Manitowoc is a pretty big area to cover.

    Rockford is much more convenient for people in the Northwest and far west burbs of Chicago, as well as most of Northern Illinois for that matter. It's a good reliever for O'Hare.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    As pete-rock has pointed out (from studies) there is not enough market in Chicago for three full-service airports. That's the essential flaw with all airport proposals.

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    I thought it was Gary, Indiana.

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Its Milwaukee. Case closed.

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    From the Indy Star:

    Long-debated plan for a third Chicago-area airport gains traction
    By Mike Colias, Associated Press Writer; May 6, 2005
    http://www2.indystar.com/articles/8/...-3808-127.html

    Good quote:
    "If there's such a huge demand for a new airport, why aren't airlines and passengers flocking to Gary or Rockford ?"

    On the Net: http://www.southsuburbanairport.com/

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    As pete-rock has pointed out (from studies) there is not enough market in Chicago for three full-service airports. That's the essential flaw with all airport proposals.
    Well, then explain the Tampa Bay area. It has Tampa International, St. Petersburg-Clearwater Int'l, and Sarasota-Bradenton Int'l. Southwest Florida Int'l Airport in Fort Myers isn't far down the road either. And from Hernando Co. down to Collier Co. is only about half the population of the Chicago metro area, yet they have twice the number of int'l airports.

    And tourism is not the reason why, because what West Florida is to tourism, Chicago is to business.

    I just think O'Hare has held a monopoly on the area for too long. People want more options and less congestion in the Chicago area.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I am not aware of the situation in Tampa Bay, but if all those airports truly are major passenger terminals that all share the same catchment area, then their operations are clearly very different from those in Chicago.

    The majority of traffic in Chicago's skies are the result of American and United flights. So which of those companies do you think will move out to Rockford? American, or United? Which one will give up all of the investment they've poured into O'Hare and try to compete for Chicago business from an airport out in the sticks?

    Recall that in the early 1990s, Midway was very close to shutting down. There just wasn't any business there. Then Southwest and ATA came along (and now ATA is gone but there are a few other discount carriers). Southwest isn't going to want to move out into the sticks from an airport that now has 25 minute L train access to downtown (that they've put a lot of money into). Maybe a new crop of even lower budget airlines will come along?

    But none of that will solve the problem at O'Hare. Nearly all the business travelers coming to Chicago are either going downtown or going to the Rosemont area. No new airport will effectively serve those areas better than O'Hare so no airline is going to accept the competitive disadvantage of relocating far away, and certainly not United or American.

    Of course if United goes out of business, the whole problem solves itself.

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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Well, then explain the Tampa Bay area. It has Tampa International, St. Petersburg-Clearwater Int'l, and Sarasota-Bradenton Int'l. Southwest Florida Int'l Airport in Fort Myers isn't far down the road either. And from Hernando Co. down to Collier Co. is only about half the population of the Chicago metro area, yet they have twice the number of int'l airports.

    And tourism is not the reason why, because what West Florida is to tourism, Chicago is to business.

    I just think O'Hare has held a monopoly on the area for too long. People want more options and less congestion in the Chicago area.
    You know, the Tampa Bay area may have so many airports not because of the demand, but because of municipal bragging rights. How long have they been around? How many flights do they handle now?

    I don't think the number of airports is important. What's important is demand and capacity.

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    The main problem with labelling either Mitchell or Rockford as "Chicago's third airport" is that the people who want a third airport aren't anywhere near Rockford or Mitchell. Those who could travel to either of those two airports also have quite convenient access to O'Hare.

    It's people (i.e. the politicians that represent them) from south suburbs like Tinley or Orland that support the Peotone initiative, mainly because they have to fight their way all the way up I-294.

    Personally, I don't think the Peotone initiative will go very far. As far as I know, the only access to it is via I-57. Any other access routes would have to be built from scratch. There's also the matter of finding carriers to fill such a third airport.

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ardecila
    The main problem with labelling either Mitchell or Rockford as "Chicago's third airport" is that the people who want a third airport aren't anywhere near Rockford or Mitchell. Those who could travel to either of those two airports also have quite convenient access to O'Hare.

    It's people (i.e. the politicians that represent them) from south suburbs like Tinley or Orland that support the Peotone initiative, mainly because they have to fight their way all the way up I-294.

    Personally, I don't think the Peotone initiative will go very far. As far as I know, the only access to it is via I-57. Any other access routes would have to be built from scratch. There's also the matter of finding carriers to fill such a third airport.
    As part of a Peotone, IL proposal, there is a plan to extend I-355 south and southeastward from I-80 to at least I-57 in the Peotone area. At I-57, the interchange would likely be designed to allow it to be further extended eastward into Indiana, perhaps to ultimately become a 'relief' route for the traffic-clogged Kingery/Borman (I-80/94).

    Mike

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