May 12, 2005

Mayor Daley - Enemy of General Aviation

gaenemy.jpgMayor Daley irked many General Aviation pilots when he closed Meigs Field in the dead of night a little over two years ago. The Mayor stated the lakeshore airport was closed for post 9/11 security concerns. His story fell apart shortly thereafter when Tom Ridge, then Homeland Security Secretary, said that his agency had never been consulted about Meigs Field airport and that he was personally disappointed that the airport had been destroyed. Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration has stated that it doesn't consider general aviation airplanes and airports like Meigs to be security threats in and of themselves.

I am sad to say the mayor is at it again. Thanks to my fellow aviation enthusiast Matt at "It Came From Black Background" for the tip on this article. A recent CBS Chicago Online article quoted Daley "We need the same protection as Washington, D.C.�, referring to the general aviation flight restrictions over the nation's capitol.

Luckily I don't believe the mayor can pull off implementing such stringent restrictions. Unlike closing an airport in the middle of the night which he was able to covertly pull off on his own he will need support of government agencies if he wishes to impose stiffer flight restrictions for Chicago airspace. I feel confident that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and its many members can block such changes.

Posted by at May 12, 2005 10:41 PM

I agree with you regarding Daley. As a longtime Flight Simulator enthusiast (Going right back to it's Commodore 64 days), I had hoped someday to be able to fly into the airport that started it all for me... In simulator terms, I've took off and landed at Meigs more times then I can count. :-)

I had hoped to be able to fly into Meigs someday for real. I'm only months away from my real licence now, but unfortunately Daley really destroyed my dreams.

Posted by: Mark (OshawaPilot) at May 16, 2005 7:35 PM

I think Meigs is loved by so many pilots because it was the feature airport in Microsofts Flight Simulator. We all dreamed of flying there. Thanks for the post Mark!

Posted by: Todd at May 17, 2005 10:48 PM

As another Mark, and another C-64 pilot (and and IBM BIG BEIGH BOX pilot before that), and now real pilot, I too was inspired by Meigs. Though for me, Daley raping Meigs was actually what got me off my butt to start training. I was so enraged after he did that that I realized I had to start flying NOW before other opportunities were lost. And I did.

So in that small twisted way, I owe Daley a bit of thanks. I'd like to give it to him personally.

Posted by: Oblivion at August 9, 2005 8:46 AM