Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 17, 2010

Contact:

Josh Kauffman 217.558.0517
Guy Tridgell 312.814.4693


IDOT Advances Plan for South Suburban Airport

Key Report Submitted to FAA, Approval Process Starts in 2011

PEOTONE — The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics announced today that the Facility Requirements Report, one of the final planning documents for the South Suburban Airport, has been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for review. The report is one of the last steps in developing an airport master plan, a process that will be completed early next year.

“We are one step closer to the South Suburban Airport becoming reality,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “This is an important project that will create jobs in the area, and make this region a major air transportation hub. We look forward to continued work with the FAA and those in the region to get this project underway.”

“The South Suburban Airport remains a priority for IDOT,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said. “This latest submission to the FAA means the airport is that much closer to becoming the modern aviation facility and economic engine that we envision.”

The Facility Requirements Report, sent Wednesday to the FAA, outlines the airfield facilities needed to accommodate the airport during the first five years of operations. Among the areas addressed: runway and taxiway lengths, runway orientation and configuration, terminal size, and the number and location passenger gates. Construction of the air traffic control tower, airport rescue and firefighting buildings, fuel storage facilities and maintenance operations also are addressed.

One of report’s major findings validates the initial runway length of 9,500 feet, with the expectation to expand to more than 10,000 feet. The report also identifies potential airport growth for the next 20 years.

The Facility Requirements Report is the fourth of five chapters needed by the FAA to begin its Environmental Impact Statement, ultimately leading to a record of decision. The fifth and final chapter, the Alternatives Development and Evaluation Report, which studies the various options for the airport layout plan, will be forwarded to the FAA in early 2011.

“The governor’s South Suburban Airport team is working diligently to prepare these final planning documents for a timely submission to the FAA,” Susan Shea, IDOT’s director of aeronautics, said. “This is yet another significant milestone toward developing a master plan and building the airport.”

The approximate size of airport is 5,385 acres, spread over 134 parcels. The state already has spent $33 million toward the purchase of 2,380 acres. Governor Pat Quinn has committed $100 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program toward the purchase of the remaining 64 parcels of land. The Governor has asked the General Assembly for additional bond authorization to purchase the remaining land.

All of IDOT’s submitted materials to the FAA as part of the master planning process are available at www.southsuburbanairport.com.

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