Durbin, Kirk discuss O'Hare suit with airlines

January 28, 2011

(WBEZ/file)
Illinois' senators home to resuscitate stalled negotiations between the airlines carriers and the city over O'Hare expansion.

Illinois' U.S. Senators hope to mediate a dispute between the City of Chicago and the two biggest tenants of O'Hare International Airport. Leaders of United and American Airlines met with Sens. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and Mark Kirk, and Republican, on Thursday in Washington.

The airlines are suing the city over plans to continue expansion at O'Hare without their consent. But Kirk says the issue shouldn't go to the courts.

"I think it was a very good meeting.  The meeting went long, because we found more grounds for common agreement then I thought.  So now Senator Durbin and I will go back to the city, talk to the mayor, and see if we can settle this lawsuit," Kirk told WBEZ in a telephone interview.

Durbin and Kirk wouldn't get into specifics about their discussion with the airlines.  Neither airline immediately provided comments on the meeting.