Sept. 23 forum will map airport plans, Quinn says

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn landed at Bult Field in Monee to help celebrate a major milestone in developing the South Suburban Airport. He, along with U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, unveil the logo for the future airport.

MONEE | A forum on Sept. 23 in Joliet will develop a businss plan for a long proposed airport, Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday.

The governor said the forum with private developers, air carriers and potential tenants is evidence that a new Chicago-area airport is progressing and will be built in what is now cornfields in eastern Will County.

State officials also unveiled a new sign that declares the Bult Field airstrip is now both state property and "the future site of the South Suburban Airport."

The formerly private airstrip with a 5,000-foot runway became state transportation department property on June 30 for $34 million.

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Transportation department spokesman Guy Tridgell said Bult Field will not be transformed into the long-discussed airport, but would be operated in conjunction with a new airport to be built directly north of  Bult Field.

Discussion for a new Chicago-area airport to supplement O'Hare International and Midway airports has taken place since the late 1960s, with debate increasing in the late 1980s. An inability to reach a consensus on the project has prevented work from beginning.

Citing the roughly 1.8 million people who live in southern Cook, Will and Kankakee counties, Quinn said, "You're talking about a region that would be one of the nation's largest cities if it were combined."

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