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GAMA Decries Mayor’s Closure of Meigs Field

GAMA NEWS 03-8 For Immediate Release: Mar 31, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC, March 31, 2003 – The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is decrying the closure of Meigs Field and the destruction of its runway by the City of Chicago.

“This is a sad day for general aviation,” said Ed Bolen, President of GAMA. “Mayor Daley obviously saw an opportunity, using the ruse of security and the cover of night, to pursue his longstanding goal of closing Meigs Field. The mayor’s action, which comes after years of negotiations over the fate of this important airport, smacks of bad faith and smears the reputation of general aviation.”

The City of Chicago appears not to have provided advance notice to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of its decision to close Meigs. Notifying the FAA prior to the closure of an airport is generally required under Part 157 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. According to Bolen, “We are currently exploring possible legal and administrative options for reopening the airport.”

In 1996, when Mayor Daley first attempted to close Meigs Field and turn it into a public park, GAMA joined other aviation associations in filing a lawsuit against the City of Chicago. Although that suit was ultimately unsuccessful, it helped serve as a catalyst for action by the Governor of Illinois and the state legislature which, until yesterday, had kept the lakefront airport open.

Communications Director:
Andre Castro:
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Headquarters: (+1) 202-393-1500
European Office: (+32) 2 550-3900

GAMA exists to foster and advance the general welfare, safety, interests, and activities of the global business and general aviation industry. This includes promoting a better understanding of general aviation manufacturing, maintenance, repair, and overhaul and the important role these industry segments play in economic growth and opportunity, and in serving the critical transportation needs of communities, companies, and individuals worldwide.