Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2011

CONTACT:
Josh Kauffman (IDOT) 217.558.0517
Guy Tridgell (IDOT) 312.814.4693

Approval of Key Planning Document Advances South Suburban Airport

FAA Accepts Existing Conditions Report, Capping Major Progress in 2011

PEOTONE – The Illinois Department of Transportation today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the Existing Conditions Report, a key milestone in the master planning process for the South Suburban Airport. The report marks the third major element of the airport’s Master Plan to be approved by the FAA in 2011, the most for any one year.

“The South Suburban Airport is one of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s top priorities,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “This latest approval from the FAA is another significant step in our steady progress toward federal approval for the airport.”

The Existing Conditions Report provides an inventory of the regional setting and land use patterns surrounding the airport site in eastern Will County. The report identifies the economic and social characteristics of the area, including the population levels, employment trends and existing transportation network, while accounting for potential impacts to community resources, such as schools, churches and parks.

This week, IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics submitted to FAA for approval a revised Alternatives Development and Evaluation Report, which will help determine the most environmentally responsible, operationally efficient and cost-effective locations for the airport’s facilities. The remaining elements to be submitted to the FAA are an updated Airport Layout Plan, an Implementation Plan and a Financial Feasibility Analysis.

“We are continuing to work diligently on these final planning documents for the South Suburban Airport,” IDOT Aeronautics Director Susan Shea said. “This has been an extremely productive year planning for the airport. We look forward to working together with the FAA and regional leaders to make this important project a reality.”

The approximate size of the inaugural airport is 5,400 acres, spread over 134 parcels. The state has invested about $33 million thus far toward the purchase of 2,317 acres. Governor Pat Quinn has committed $100 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program toward the purchase of the remaining 58 parcels needed to complete the airport’s footprint.

All of IDOT’s submitted materials to the FAA and the status of land acquisition efforts are available online at www.southsuburbanairport.com.

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