Chicago South Suburban Airport (Peotone)

New Airport
Completion: Unknown
IATA: n/a
ICAO: n/a
City: Chicago, IL
Country/Territory: United States of America


Chicago South Suburban Airport is a new airport construction project designed to be a cargo-only facility. Upon completion, the airport will become the third major airport serving the Chicago city region. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has produced an Airport Master Plan for the airport that is now under review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This master plan will be used to create the facility, and officials expect full FAA approval in 2013. The private sector is highly likely to be involved, in an investment capacity, as the cost is probably out of the reach of the state at USD1 billion.

Jun-2017. Illinois Mayors wrote a letter to Governor Bruce Rauner requesting that he "move forward quickly in seeking a development partner" for the planned South Suburban Airport. Six firms expressed interest in developing the airport but all want assurance of government support before they will commit to the project.

May-2017. Chicago South Suburban Airport received interest from six developers. The Illinois Department of Transportation's (IDoT) issued a request for information on 14-Mar-2017, calling on private firms to express interest in constructing and maintaining the airport. The names of the interested parties have not yet been disclosed.

Mar-2017. US Congresswoman Robin Kelly welcomed the issuance of the request for information (RFI) release from the Illinois Department of Transportation for the development of the South Suburban Airport. 


18-Mar-2015. The FAA and Congresswoman Robin Kelly released a report which concludes that metro-Chicago airspace is capable of handling a third major airport and that the proposed South Suburban Airport would have “minimal impact” on current operations at O’Hare and Midway. The report does acknowledge that the FAA would likely alter regional flight patterns in the future if the new airport were to expand. The report also notes that the South Suburban Airport would have its own air traffic control tower and that the airport operations wouldn't interfere with a skydiving school or military base at the Kankakee airport.

13-Mar-2015. Illinois Department of Transportation attorney Richard Redmond stated thus far the DoT has purchased 4163 acres of land in the village of Peotone in Illinois, at a cost of USD90 million for the planned South Suburban Airport project. Despite the progressive land acquisition, the project is still facing opposition from three property owners, who are opposing the development. Will County Circuit Court Judge Susan O'Leary is set to rule on the dispute on 20-Mar-2015.

Feb-2015. Illinois DoT and City of Chicago stated the proposed South Suburban Airport project has been placed on hold thus far in 2015 due to Governor changes, however hopes the project will gain some momentum going forward. The airport, which is expected to be a cargo only facility, will be a relief airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The city plans to develop the facility through a public-private partnership arrangement. Illinois DoT stated no direct discussions have been held with cargo carriers, however said representatives of Korean Air Cargo attended a public hearing on the airport in Sep-2014.

Aug-2014. The Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn announced plans to host an "industry forum" in Sep-2014 with "private developers, air carriers and potential airport tenants to create a business plan and strategy" for the airport.

Jul-2014. Illinois Department of Transportation (IDoT) announced the acquisition of Bult Field for USD34 million. The field will serve as a key component of the state’s overall plan to develop the South Suburban Airport. At present there is no official name and two separate plans exist, one known as the 'South Suburban Airport' and another known as 'Abraham Lincoln National Airport'. The transaction covers 288 acres, including the airport’s 5000ft runway, taxiway, hangars and terminal, as well as additional farmland surrounding the airfield near Monee. The state of Illinois will continue to operate Bult Field as a general aviation airport until it is incorporated into the inaugural South Suburban Airport. Even after the South Suburban Airport is open for business, Bult Field will continue to serve the area’s general aviation and corporate aircraft needs. The purchase of Bult Field is the latest in a string of major acquisitions for the South Suburban Airport. In the last year, IDoT acquired more than 1150 acres in support of the project. To date, IDoT has acquired more than 3500 acres of the approximately 5800 that are needed for the inaugural airport. In addition to the ongoing land acquisition, IDoT is working with the FAA to develop an airport master plan and complete the environmental approval process for the project.

Jan-2014. Representative Robin Kelly stated the State of Illinois’ plan to build a 9500ft runway for the proposed Peotone Airport is “inadequate”. Representative Kelly said while the runway will be able to handle a fully loaded B737, it will not accommodate the larger B747, which she described as “the standard workhorse of long-haul international cargo routes today and for the future”. Ms Kelly is calling for a minimum runway length of 10,500ft, noting that 12,000ft will be preferable.

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