Candidate Proposes Meigs Revival

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A long-shot candidate for the Chicago mayoralty is proposing reopening Meigs Field, in part to accommodate eVTOL point-to-point transportation. Willie Wilson, who is among 14 candidates trying to replace the outgoing Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, announced as part of his platform a plan to restore the runway and other aviation infrastructure on Northerly Island, which hosted the famed airport for decades. The airport was destroyed in an unannounced operation in which then-Mayor Richard Daley ordered heavy equipment to gouge Xs across the runway in April of 2004. The move was widely condemned but never reversed.

The island is now a public greenspace that is occasionally used as a live music venue but Wilson notes its financial contribution to the city of $55,000 a year is a sliver of the half billion dollars it generated as a transportation hub. He said restoring the airport is particularly attractive given the prospect of urban air taxi services and the possibility of “shared ride” business aircraft services. “This airport could be exactly the facility that a growing modern city needs,” he said. Meigs supporters are not being encouraged to get their hopes up, however, as pundits don’t give Wilson much of a chance to gain the mayor’s seat.