Thursday, December 22, 2011

FAA Approves South Suburban Airport Existing Conditions Report

The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Existing Conditions Report for the South Suburban Airport.  Please find below the Illinois Department of Transportation's Press Release regarding the FAA's approval of the report:

"PEOTONE – The Illinois Department of Transportation today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the Existing Conditions Report, a key milestone in the master planning process for the South Suburban Airport. The report marks the third major element of the airport’s Master Plan to be approved by the FAA in 2011, the most for any one year.

“The South Suburban Airport is one of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s top priorities,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “This latest approval from the FAA is another significant step in our steady progress toward federal approval for the airport.”

The Existing Conditions Report provides an inventory of the regional setting and land use patterns surrounding the airport site in eastern Will County. The report identifies the economic and social characteristics of the area, including the population levels, employment trends and existing transportation network, while accounting for potential impacts to community resources, such as schools, churches and parks.

This week, IDOT’s Division of Aeronautics submitted to FAA for approval a revised Alternatives Development and Evaluation Report, which will help determine the most environmentally responsible, operationally efficient and cost-effective locations for the airport’s facilities. The remaining elements to be submitted to the FAA are an updated Airport Layout Plan, an Implementation Plan and a Financial Feasibility Analysis.

“We are continuing to work diligently on these final planning documents for the South Suburban Airport,” IDOT Aeronautics Director Susan Shea said. “This has been an extremely productive year planning for the airport. We look forward to working together with the FAA and regional leaders to make this important project a reality.”

The approximate size of the inaugural airport is 5,400 acres, spread over 134 parcels. The state has invested about $33 million thus far toward the purchase of 2,317 acres. Governor Pat Quinn has committed $100 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program toward the purchase of the remaining 58 parcels needed to complete the airport’s footprint.

All of IDOT’s submitted materials to the FAA and the status of land acquisition efforts are available online at"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Anthony Rudis to State of Illinois: Demonstrate a Need for the Peotone Airport

In early October of this year, members of the group STAND--Shut This Airport Nightmare Down--held a 'Harvest Fest".  STAND officers state the purpose of the Harvest Fest was to reach out to individuals, groups, and elected officials to "help prevent this politically-driven project from becoming a reality."

STAND--Shut This Airport Nightmare Down--held a harvest fest in October 2011

Midway through the Harvest Fest, Anthony Rudis arrived and neighbors gathered in the garage to hear his remarks on the proposed Peotone Airport.  Rudis is 100 years old and owns one of the largest pieces of land in the inaugural footprint of the proposed airport, which is visible on the map below, from the Will County GIS Department:

Rudis stated: "To this day, not a single governmental body has come up with a study that says this is why we need it.  So that what does it mean?  It means the legislature and other governmental bodies are looking for a soft touch.  They'll appropriate money, not for the widows, but for the airport...what they are going to do here is destroy the economy of many families..."  Watch the full video:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Airport in Peotone Group holds Harvest Fest

The group STAND--Shut This Airport Nightmare Down--held a "Footprint Harvest Fest" Sunday, October 9, in rural Will County. 

STAND officers state the purpose of the Harvest Fest was to reach out to individuals, groups, and elected officials to "help prevent this politically-driven project from becoming a reality." 

The keynote speaker at the Footprint Harvest Fest was scheduled to be Jon Stewart, the main organizer of the successful campaign to stop a 3rd runway at Heathrow Airport in London. 

STAND members say they are fighting to stop the State of Illinois from using eminent domain to gain control of land in the footprint of the proposed Peotone Airport.  Anthony Rudis--a 100 year old owner of property in the footprint--was in attendance.   Regarding the state's plan to use eminent domain to take his land, Rudis stated: "This land is not for sale, I do not want them on my property and I will do what I can to stop them.  This is terribly upsetting.  The FAA has not approved the project, and they have no business moving forward, wasting taxpayers' money."

Photos from the Harvest Fest:

Hand-made signs lead the way to Harvest Fest in rural Eastern Will County

Harvest Fest goers look out over land slated to be in or near the Peotone Airport footprint

Display of "No Peotone Airport" signs from throughout the many years the State of Illinois has been buying land and attempting to buy land for the proposed "Peotone Airport"

Will County map showing--in pink--the proposed initial airport footprint, and--in purple--the ultimate full outline of the proposed Peotone Airport Boundary.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Airport in Peotone Group tries to transfer Cubs Goat Curse to Peotone Airport

Members of the group STAND--Shut This Airport Nightmare Down--created a crop circle in an Eastern Will County clover field featuring the No Airport symbol commonly seen on farmsteads and electrical poles throughout Eastern Will County.

Members of STAND then walked the circle with a goat.  STAND member Anthony Rayson stated the group was attempting to "transfer the Billy Goat Curse from the Chicago Cubs to Eastern Will County and stick it on this infernal Peotone Airport boondoggle.  We're sick of having our families disrupted decade after decade because of this monstrosity."

The goat was christened "Gary" for the event, after the currently operating Gary/Chicago International Airport:
People opposed to the proposed Third Chicagoland Airport paraded Gary the Goat around a No Airport crop circle in an attempt to transfer the Billy Goat Curse to the Peotone Airport

Rayson further stated: "We're not willing to to be forced out of our homes and farms for this nightmare political boondoggle. "

Rayson acknowledged that some people might consider the crop circle and goat ceremony unconventional, however, "if people don't understand our logical arguments over the years, maybe they'll understand this nonsense" Rayson stated.

Watch the ceremony:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shut This Airport Nightmare Down will Demonstrate Against Use of Eminent Domain for the "Peotone Airport"

STAND (Shut This Airport Nightmare Down) will hold a demonstration Monday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Tinley Park Convention Center where Governor Pat Quinn will speak to the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce.  Quinn is speaking at the Chamber's "Regional Consensus Luncheon".
STAND will display a large banner which reads “NO EMINENT DOMAIN AT PEOTONE” and demonstrators will have other signs. STAND will be at the entrance to the Convention Center, which is off 183rd Street, just east of Harlem.
STAND wants Governor Quinn to promise that the state will not use eminent domain to forcefully take people’s property for the proposed Peotone airport prior to the FAA deciding whether an airport can be built.  According to STAND, that decision is two years away. The state has already initiated eminent domain on a small number of properties and is threatening to do massive eminent domain condemnations soon. STAND claims this is unfair to property owners and unfair to taxpayers who will pay for this property with borrowed money.
For more information on STAND, contact president George Ochsenfeld at (708) 534-7319.
Eminent Domain was a hot topic at STAND's last meeting:

Monday, May 16, 2011

100 Year Old Will County Resident Fears Losing His Farm to Eminent Domain for the "Peotone Airport"

100 year-old Will County resident Anthony Rudis fears the State of Illinois may use eminent domain to gain ownership of his farm in the footprint of the proposed "Peotone Airport".  Recently, owners of land in the footprint have received letters from state contractors stating engineers and other officials need access to their land in order to conduct appraisals.  

"This land is not for sale.  I do not want them on my property and will do what I can to stop them. This is terribly upsetting." said Mr. Rudis. "The FAA has not approved the project," Rudis continued, "and they have no business moving forward, wasting taxpayers money."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

STAND encourages citizens opposed to the plans for the "Peotone Airport" to contact Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton

Illinois State Legislators are working on the state budget this month, and the group "Shut This Airport Nightmare Down--STAND" wants to send a message to those legislators: Stop funding for the Peotone Airport.

Here is an email blast STAND has send out. This email blast was obtained by Peotone Airport News and is copied below in its entirety:

"URGENT NOTICE: please write letters and/or call as soon as possible. They are working on the budget until the end of May.

Urge Housespeaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to block the $110 million that Quinn put into the budget for land acquisition for the proposed Peotone airport. The state plans to forcefully take land from unwilling sellers using eminent domain, even though the FAA is two or three years away from approving/disapproving the project.

Call, send snail mail, fax, or email. Handwritten or typed letters mailed or faxed are best. Phone call are next best, followed by email. Explain in your own words why you oppose having the state borrow $110 million to forcefully take land. Even two or three sentences is enough.

Use words like: "block", "stop", "kill", "eliminate" "remove" the $110 million funding.

Points to consider including:
If the project has had a negative impact on you personally, state how.
The state is broke and should not be borrowing money.
Put people to work repairing existing roads, bridges, dam, water-ways, etc.
This is an abuse of eminent domain.
At least wait until the FAA decides if an airport can be built.
This is an abuse of governmental power.
O'Hare expansion will handle air traffic for decades to come.
Put money into fast trains and public transit.
Peotone would be a white elephant, like MidAmerica airport near St Louis.
Why waste 32 square miles of excellent farm land.
This would encourage suburban sprawl.
This is bad for the environment.
People in Peotone area have suffered for 20 yrs. from this unneeded threat
This has always been politically driven and not market driven.
If it were market driven, it would have been built years ago.
Fund schools and services to the: [elderly, disabled, mentally ill, etc]
This is a boondoggle designed to benefit the politically connected.
The airlines are opposed.
Just the surrounding infrastructure would cost taxpayers a fortune.

Michael Madigan
Speaker of the House
300 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5350
(217) 524-1794 FAX

Senator John J. Cullerton
President of the Senate
327 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217)782-3242 FAX"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

STAND Meeting Tonight in Monee

The group STAND-Shut This Airport Nightmare Down-is holding a meeting tonight in Monee at the Southland Senior Center, 25864 Chesnut Road, Monee, Illinois.

STAND office George Ochsenfeld recently ran for a State Rep seat, and took a strong stand against the use of eminent domain by the State of Illinois to take land for the proposed airport:

Monday, April 25, 2011