Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will host an industry forum next month with private developers, air carriers and potential airport tenants to create a business plan and strategy to complete the South Suburban Airport P3 in Chicago (USA) as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The move follows the state's recent purchase of Bult Field - a general aviation airport that will serve as the SSA's first runway.
Governor Quinn stated:
The upcoming industry forum will be an opportunity for Illinois' bright minds to get together to ensure this historic project can land on-time and on-target. This project, as well as the Illiana Expressway, are top priorities of my administration and will help create jobs and unlock the true economic potential of the south suburban region.
Last week, IDOT issued a Request for Information (RFI) to seek input from firms interested in a public-private partnership to build and operate the South Suburban Airport. The process, culminating with the industry forum hosted by IDOT on Sept. 23, will help the state evaluate different methods to build and run the facility, as well as heighten market interest in the project. A previous RFI focused on developing a marketing plan for the airport.
The latest RFI comes after the state completed the US$34 million purchase of Bult Field on June 30. The airport sits on 288 acres in the footprint of the South Suburban Airport and includes a 5,000-foot runway, hangars, a terminal and additional surrounding land. The purchase, made possible by a $100 million commitment for land acquisition for the South Suburban Airport from Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, means the state has acquired almost 3,600 of the 5,800 acres needed for the airport.
Bult Field will remain a general aviation facility under state ownership. Once the South Suburban Airport is up and running, Bult Field will become part of the overall facility and continue to fulfill the area's general aviation needs.
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.