Oct. 25--Plans to build the first commercial helicopter landing pad near downtown Chicago since former Mayor Richard M. Daley tore up Meigs Field a decade ago has won Mayor Rahm Emanuel's backing.
The mayor has proposed an ordinance to close down some side streets and cede the land to make way for a 10-acre heliport northwest of Ashland Avenue and West 15th Street on the Near West side. That's in the Illinois Medical District that includes Stroger and Rush hospitals.
Medical emergency flights would get first dibs on use of the heliport, which also would serve well-heeled business executives looking for a quicker trip to downtown from O'Hare, Midway and Gary/Chicago airports. It would include a landing pad, hangar and small terminal equipped to handle medical emergencies and organ donation deliveries.
Corporate honchos and high-level government officials used to fly into Meigs, which Daley infamously tore up in the middle of the night in March 2003 to make way for prime parkland fronting Lake Michigan.
There is a rooftop heliport at Lurie Children's Hospital in Streeterville, but that is dedicated solely to medical emergency flights. A helipad near Stroger used only for medical emergencies will be shut down once the new facility is complete.
"We are the largest city in the world without a place to land a helicopter," said Stephen Quazzo of Vertiport USA-Chicago, the company that's building the nearly $10 million for-profit facility in partnership with the Medical District.
Quazzo said they plan to break ground by next spring and get the facility built before the end of 2014. In addition to medical emergency personnel, business officials and politicians, the facility could serve as a stop and refueling station for the city police and fire departments, he said.
Emanuel, in announcing his support via news release, called a heliport near downtown "an essential feature of most world-class cities."
Copyright 2013 - Chicago Tribune
Saying airports produce jobs, Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool endorsed plans for a new airport in Peotone Sunday.
On Minnie, Mickey, and a guy named Daley ...
Listen closely; that sucking sound you hear is the mayor of Chicago bleeding the aviation system dry ... Some ten months after Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley tore up the runway at Meigs...
-- Jan. 05--A north Victoria man may be forced to shut down the heliport he operates in a residential area. Police Chief Bruce Ure said he's received complaints from...