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Friends of Meigs Field
Dedicated to the restoration, preservation & improvement of Chicago's downtown airport


Funding: "Free" Park

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Key Benefits

bulletNo cost to local taxpayers.
bulletUses federal airport funds.
bulletProvides  minimum of $40 million to the Chicago Park District.
bulletProvides funds for other parks, too.


Funding -- Free to Chicago Taxpayers

Perhaps the most important feature of this proposal is the method for its funding.  It is rare that the citizens and taxpayers of Chicago can have something as fun and exciting as The Bessie Coleman Park and Chicago Air Museum …essentially for free.

Through a happy circumstance, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District have an opportunity to receive significant funding from the federal government to pay for park improvements, provided Meigs Field.

This funding is available from the Federal Aviation Administration for the purposes of improving airports like Meigs Field, but—in this case—the net result will be a flow of scores of millions of dollars into the Chicago Park District’s coffers, unencumbered and available to benefit parks across the city. 

The overall effect of this funding mechanism will be to create the new Bessie Coleman Park and Chicago Air Museum essentially without cost to Chicago taxpayers, while meanwhile providing additional funds to repair and create parks in park-poor neighborhoods.

The timing for this could not be better.  In 2003, the Chicago Park District was forced to cut expenditures on everything except debt service by $24.5 million.

Other Funding Opportunities

Of course, in addition to the available Airport Improvement Program funds from the FAA, there are numerous other funding opportunities available to pay for improvements and operations of the airport, including corporate sponsorship, philanthropy, development of airport revenue streams from scheduled commuter operations, and development of alternate revenue streams from non-aviation sources (restaurant, gift shop, etc.)

Copyright © 1995-current year
Friends of Meigs Field
P.O. Box 59-7308 , Chicago, IL 60659-7308
Voice Mail: 312-458-9250   FAX: 847-966-6168
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