Lansing Airport Manager Responds
Did you think you'd ever hear
someone in GA singing the praises of Meigs-killer Mayor Richard
Daley? Believe it.
In a January 11 Chicago Tribune story, the manager of Lansing
Municipal Airport (IGQ) in Lansing, Illinois, was quoted as saying,
"I want to thank Mayor Daley for tearing down his airport."
AOPA President Phil Boyer (right) responded with a letter
blasting Airport Manager Robert Malkas. "I am at a loss for words
to express my complete incredulity," Boyer wrote. "How absolutely
ludicrous to refer to the aviation tragedy of Meigs Field in such a
manner, much less celebrate its demise because of your airport's
"AOPA went to the wall with Daley over Meigs," explained Boyer.
"We did everything humanly possible. We couldn't save Meigs, but
out of our battle for the airport came such innovation as the AOPA
Airport Support Network and the "Meigs Legacy" provision that
provides for hefty fines for anyone who closes an airport or runway
without giving the required notice. To think there's someone in GA
dancing on Meigs' grave is just incomprehensible to us. This is the
ultimate disservice to GA and our 403,000 members."
And while some Chicago-area airports are experiencing an
increase in traffic due to Meigs' midnight destruction, no one
— until now — has found it a reason to celebrate. "I
would like to suggest that, rather than a huge influx of planes
using Lansing airport during the upcoming Rotary International
Convention, you should not be surprised if your airport is
boycotted instead," Boyer wrote in his letter.
Nearby alternates to Lansing include New Lexox (1C2), Frankfort
(C18), Lewis University (LOT), Joliet Regional (JOT), Schaumburg
Regional (06C), Palwaukee Municipal (PWK), and DuPage (DPA).
Boyer said he received a faxed letter last week from Malkas. In
his response Malkas told Boyer: "I'm sorry you misunderstood the
intention of my comments regarding the closing of Meigs Field....
The comments were meant to be sarcastic to Mayor Daley's action."
On the basis of emails to AOPA since the newspaper story was
published, members found Malkas' comments clear... and inexcusable.
"We all know the media can twist someone's words," Boyer warned.
"[But] You never say something like that, not after what we've all
been through. Even if uttered in jest, that quote was way out of