Quinn, Emanuel don't agree on third airport

Emanuel wants to expand O'Hare, Quinn says the southern suburbs are underserved

March 30, 2012

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says building a third airport south of Chicago is very important for the state.

He's responding to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's new plans to build a fourth runway at O'Hare airport. Emanuel said the expansion would be like adding a third airport without building a new one. But Quinn said it's not helpful to have everyone divided.

"We have a metropolitan area of Chicago that's undeserved in the south - the fastest growing area of our metropolitan area is Will County and South Cook County and we have to have an airport there too," he said.

At a news conference Thursday with radio reporters, Emanuel was asked whether he supported constructing a new airport in Peotone.

“I’m opposed to it. That’s why I want to make sure O’Hare’s, uh, modernized,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel's plan is part of a $7 billion investment in infrastructure for the city, that he says won't be paid for by taxpayer dollars. When asked about that plan, Quinn said the state already has an infrastructure project in the works that has served Chicago well, and state dollars are being used to fix infrastructure issues in the city.