NBAA Praises Illinois Governor Ryan and Chicago Mayor Daley for Decision to Keep Meigs Open

Contact: Cassandra Bosco

Washington, DC, December 6, 2001 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) praised Illinois Governor George Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for reaching an agreement that will allow historic Meigs Field to remain open and viable until 2006, with the potential to remain open until 2026.

Their decision acknowledges the economic benefits of Meigs to the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the entire region,” said NBAA President Jack Olcott. “They have wisely recognized that closing Meigs would result in economic harm to businesses that have long relied on Meigs for time-critical access to downtown Chicago. NBAA Member Companies alone account for thousands of operations per year at Meigs Field.”

The decision to keep Meigs open reflects a positive environment for general aviation in Chicago,” noted Olcott. “This also creates an opportunity for NBAA to consider the City of Chicago as a possible venue for its Annual Meeting & Convention.

NBAA has been a leader in the fight to save Meigs Field for many years and has actively joined in efforts with other organizations, particularly the Friends of Meigs Field. The groups worked with state and Federal government officials to develop a solution that addressed Chicago’s aviation capacity requirements and the need for access to this vital economic center.

NBAA represents the aviation interests of nearly 7,000 companies which own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.