PEOTONE – The state of Illinois submitted its draft airport layout plan for a South Suburban Airport to the Federal Aviation Administration this week.

Gov. Pat Quinn hailed the act as a major milestone accomplishment in this long-term effort to get a third Chicago area airport.

PEOTONE – The state of Illinois  submitted its draft airport layout plan for a South Suburban Airport to the Federal Aviation Administration this week.

Gov. Pat Quinn hailed the act as a major milestone accomplishment in this long-term effort to get a third Chicago area  airport.

The Airport Layout Plan is the sixth of the nine key elements that make up the project’s Master Plan. Quinn wants to building the airport as soon as possible.

“The South Suburban Airport will be an important economic engine and help move Illinois forward,” Quinn said. “The advancement of the airport approval process is good news for the south suburbs, as we continue our efforts to improve transportation, create jobs and spark economic growth across the southland region and Illinois.”

To ensure that progress on the project continues, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is requesting that the General Assembly appropriate the remaining $71 million that was originally part of the $100 million dedicated to purchase land for the airport through Governor Quinn’s six-year, $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital program.

“The draft of the Airport Layout Plan is the biggest step yet toward making the South Suburban Airport a reality,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “We are making tremendous progress on our Master Plan and look forward, through our partnership with the FAA, to advancing this important project into the final planning stages.”

The state has invested $29.8 million thus far toward the purchase of 2,317 acres for the airport. The approximate airport footprint is 5,800 acres, spread over 148 parcels. The South Suburban Airport’s 9,500-foot runway has been designed to routinely handle aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, but will also have the capability to accommodate limited operations of larger, wide-body aircraft like the Boeing 767, Airbus A340 and Boeing 747.

All of IDOT’s submitted materials to the FAA, including the new Airport Layout Plan, and the status of land acquisition efforts are available at www.southsuburbanairport.com.