SPRINGFIELD, IL – The long-awaited South Suburban Airport is on the horizon, thanks to the efforts of Senate members representing the South Suburbs. State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) expressed his excitement, stating, “This is a touchdown for communities across the South Suburbs. This airport will serve as an economic engine for our communities and provide local businesses with access to global markets for generations to come.”
Lawmakers have been striving for the establishment of a south suburban airport in the Monee community for the past four decades. Spearheaded by Senator Harris, the measure, which passed on Wednesday, mandates the state to initiate the process of finding partners for the construction of the new airport.
“We support this project to help create many exciting new opportunities for working families in the South Suburbs for generations to come,” said Pat Devaney, Illinois AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer. “It will jump-start the process leading to the thousands of good-paying union construction jobs to build the airport and create many long-term career opportunities in the direct airport operations and all of the businesses that will develop around it.”
The South Suburban Airport Act, which became law over ten years ago, outlined the state’s authority to develop a prequalification process. However, no steps were taken to initiate this process. Senators from the South Suburban Corridor believe that this latest initiative will finally set the prequalification process in motion.
Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) added, “This new facility will help establish the Southland as an economic hub for generations to come. For years, we have heard promises of this vital resource. I am proud to help bring it to fruition.”
In addition to passenger travel, the measure expands the airport’s goals to include the development of domestic and global freight cargo transfer capabilities.
“The airport holds the promise of bringing in countless opportunities for economic growth, job creation, and increased revenue for our area,” emphasized State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex). “It only makes sense that we are finally moving forward with the project after 40 years in the making.”
With bipartisan support, House Bill 2531 passed the Senate and now awaits consideration by the governor.