Shut This Airport Nightmare Down is a non-profit, 5000 member grassroots organization opposed to construction of, and land banking for, the proposed Peotone airport in eastern Will County, 45 miles south of Chicago.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) wants to turn 38 square miles (that is 24,000 acres, which is 3 and one-half times the current size of O’Hare) of some of the best farmland in the world into an airport. The airlines have said for many years that they do not want and will not use an airport in Peotone.
Residents of Will County and southern Cook County would pay higher taxes for the airport. According to Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, if an airport is built at Peotone, it would require local monetary participation by city, county or regional taxing authority where local money would be matched with state and federal money for the purpose of construction. In addition to higher taxes, residents would experience increased crime, congestion, and air, water, and noise pollution.
Our organization’s mission is to inform the public of the alternatives available to increase transportation capacity in our region of the state without building another airport. Alternatives that should be considered are the use of Gary/Chicago airport in Indiana, Greater Rockford airport in Rockford, and Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee. If these existing airports were utilized to their potential capacity the region would be better served. With the reconfiguration and expansion of O’Hare air transportation needs will be met well into this century. We also support high-speed rail connecting Midwestern cities, and innovations such as pricing away from prime flying times and the use of telecommunications for business meetings. With currently improving air traffic technology and with the alternatives just stated, air capacity needs can be met for many decades into the future.
STAND favors farmland preservation, the establishment and preservation of open spaces and the prevention of urban sprawl. STAND also favors property rights and opposes the misuse of eminent domain.
It’s our responsibility to plan today for future generations. The preservation and protection of farmland is of utmost importance for everyone. We need to smartly use and revitalize the facilities we have and not continue to pave over something that we can never regain.