It’s important we have a balanced transportation system.” – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, August 7, 2014, discussing the need for a South Suburban Airport (SSA) in Chicagoland, about 36 miles south of downtown near Peotone, Illinois.

After the State of Illinois completed its $34 million purchase of Bult Field on June 30, 2014, Illinois now moves to the next step of adding a third major airport to serve Chicago (and the rest of northern Illinois and neighboring Indiana), as the State has acquired almost 3,600 of the 5,800 acres needed for the airport, which currently has an optimistic 2016 groundbreaking.

The Illinois DOT issued a Request for Information (RFI) this week to seek input from firms interested in a public-private partnership to build and operate the South Suburban Airport. The RFI will have a goal of gathering together aviation industry leaders to evaluate different methods to build and run such an airport.

There has never been a more exciting time for the South Suburban Airport, with the acquisition of Bult Field representing a major step forward,” Acting IDOT Secretary Erica Borggren said. “We are committed to delivering a successful, vibrant airport as soon as possible and are keen to hear from industry partners in the weeks to come.”

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In addition to the ongoing land acquisition and procurement efforts, IDOT is working with the Federal Aviation Administration on an airport master plan. All key elements of the master plan have been submitted and are approved, accepted or under review by the FAA. The FAA is also conducting a Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement to assess impacts during and after construction. Pending completion of the environmental report and approval of the master plan, construction could begin as soon as 2016.

More on the possible South Suburban Airport (Chicago): http://www.southsuburbanairport.com/

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