Hizzoner is at it again
. Bush's revelation of the purportedly foiled terrorist attack on LA in 2002 has Mayor Daley fearing for the skies over Chicago all over again. I can tell you right now that:
- Any such no-fly zone would effectively kill general aviation in Chicagoland; GA accounts for significant traffic at Palwaukee, Du Page, Schaumburg, Aurora, Joliet, and even Midway, not to mention a dozen or more smaller fields that would fall within the TFR zone the mayor would want declared under the "umbrella" of O'Hare's existing airspace.
- Committed terrorists don't usually stop to ask ATC for clearance.
This economic and political ignorance in the name of perceived safety is infuriating. Surely you've spent your summers since 2003 biking along Lake Shore Drive, thinking to yourself, "thank God they had the sense to shut down that old menace, Meigs Field." Meanwhile, runway 4R at Midway Airport still points the noses of fully-fueled 737s and 757s right at the Sears Tower each day the wind is from the north. It's nearly perfect hypocrisy.
Do you know a pilot? As one myself, I now feel I haven't done nearly enough to make any elected officials understand that knee-jerk regulation doesn't help when the greatest threats to the system couldn't care less about the rules in the first place. Fortunately, AOPA
keeps an eye on situations like this and does what it can by involving its members and lobbying on Capitol Hill. If the Washington D.C. ADIZ discussion
is any indication, and given the FAA's ongoing investigation of the Meigs closure circumstances, it's possible the city could be fined millions
(I doubt it'll come to a single penny). At least it's not up to Daley himself to redraw the airspace boundaries on his own; that's still the FAA's call.