WBEZ | airport http://www.wbez.org/tags/airport Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Herd of goats, llamas, sheep and burros are grazing around the O’Hare grounds http://www.wbez.org/news/herd-goats-llamas-sheep-and-burros-are-grazing-around-o%E2%80%99hare-grounds-108408 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-07707cd9-7e20-3f9e-2c35-610b395b0a92">A herd of goats, burros, sheep and llamas are chewing their way through the grounds of O&rsquo;Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Chicago Department of Aviation showed off their latest &ldquo;employees&rdquo; this week, though the animals have been at work, clearing the vegetation around the airport for almost a month.</p><p dir="ltr">The group of 14 goats, five sheep, three burros and two llamas will graze inside fenced areas around the airport at least until the end of 2014. Officials say the animals were brought to the airport as a sustainable way to clean up the dense scrub vegetation that covers much of the grounds.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It gets pretty rocky under here,&rdquo; said Rosemarie Andolino, CDA commissioner. pointing to a five-acre field of grass and brush behind her. &ldquo;And there (are) areas where it kinda goes up and down and lawnmowers in many cases don&rsquo;t provide or aren&rsquo;t adequate to get to some of these areas.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goats13.JPG" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Three of O’Hare airport’s latest hires explore their new workspace. The burros are part of a herd of 25 animals that will eat vegetation around the airport to help maintain the grounds. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Andolino said the contract for the goats won&rsquo;t exceed $19,500, and it expires by the end of 2014. The commissioner didn&rsquo;t have estimates as to how much it cost to maintain the grounds before the animals, yet a spokeswoman maintained there may be some cost savings down the road.</p><p dir="ltr">The herd won&rsquo;t be eating at the same spot everyday &mdash; Andolino says they&rsquo;ll move around to different places on the airport&rsquo;s grounds, depending on need. As for concerns about the animals during brutal Chicago winters, officials say the herd will only be out as long as weather permits.</p><p dir="ltr">Most of the animals in the O&rsquo;Hare herd come from Settler&rsquo;s Pond &mdash; a shelter for abandoned animals in Beecher, Ill. &mdash; but four of them were originally owned by Joseph Arnold, head of Central Commissary Holdings, LLC. The airport contract isn&rsquo;t technically their first job: Arnold&rsquo;s four goats used to provide milk for the goat cheese served at Chicago restaurant <a href="http://butcherandtheburger.com/">Butcher and the Burger</a>.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goats17.JPG" style="float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="A day-old lamb stays close by her mother at their new home, the O’Hare International Airport. They’re part of a herd of animals eating its way around the fields at O’Hare. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" />Though they might seem an unlikely sight among the security fences and planes flying overhead, the burros, goats, sheep and llamas Tuesday seemed to make themselves quite at home. One of the sheep even gave birth to a lamb Tuesday, and all the animals gathered around to greet him.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little boy and his name is O&rsquo;Hare,&rdquo; said Pinky Jenota, one of the caretakers from <a href="http://www.settlerspondshelter.net/about.html">Settler&rsquo;s Pond</a>. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s doing great, he was up suckling on mom, planes flying overhead. He didn&rsquo;t flinch, Mom didn&rsquo;t move - everybody&rsquo;s content.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">For now, the herd will continue munching around a five acre space on the airport grounds. Officials say they should finish that section in the next few weeks, and then it&rsquo;s on to the next spot.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a> .</em></p></p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/herd-goats-llamas-sheep-and-burros-are-grazing-around-o%E2%80%99hare-grounds-108408 Peotone airport finally taking flight? http://www.wbez.org/news/peotone-airport-finally-taking-flight-108200 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Peotone airport (1)_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a wide-ranging bill that will allow state officials to push forward on a third Chicago area airport. Efforts on the project have been stalled for decades because of disagreements about local control.</p><p>The bill signed Thursday authorized the Illinois Department of Transportation to spend about $70 million to continue land acquisition. The construction will be a public-private partnership and Quinn&#39;s office estimates it&#39;ll create 14,000 jobs when operational.</p><p>The bill also allows Chicago to set up financing for a new DePaul University sports arena on Lake Michigan and provides tax incentives for a fertilizer plant in central Illinois.</p><p>&ldquo;From day one, I have fought to make the South Suburban Airport a reality in Will County,&rdquo; Gov. Quinn said. &ldquo;Today, I am happy to say that our hard work and commitment to getting the job done has paid off. Now we can move forward with the development of this major economic engine that will strengthen our status as the transportation hub of the nation while creating thousands of good-paying jobs in Illinois.&rdquo;</p><p>The project had been delayed for years over who would control the airport &ndash; Will County or a group led by former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. But now Will County executive Larry Walsh says the issue over local control is no longer valid, given that IDOT will assume the lead. Walsh credited State Sen. Toi Hutchinson for pushing the legislation to get the deal done.</p><p>&ldquo;They have opened up the doors and have guaranteed us that anytime we need to meet, any kind of questions, they are open for discussion and debate,&rdquo; Walsh said. &ldquo;When you&rsquo;ve got that kind of opportunity, let&rsquo;s all work together and see what we can come up with. &ldquo;</p><p><b id="docs-internal-guid-78af2db9-1c80-7986-1b60-732d559f4dfe" style="font-weight:normal;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;">Follow WBEZ&rsquo;s Northwest Indiana reporter Michael Puente on Twitter </span><a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews" style="text-decoration:none;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#66c1ba;background-color:#ffffff;font-weight:normal;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;">@</span><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#00998c;background-color:#ffffff;font-weight:normal;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:underline;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;">MikePuenteNews</span></a><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;">.</span></b></p></p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 08:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/peotone-airport-finally-taking-flight-108200 New Will County airport advances in Illinois House http://www.wbez.org/news/new-will-county-airport-advances-illinois-house-107460 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/capitol_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>After decades of debate over adding a third airport to the Chicago area, the Illinois House of Representatives has passed a measure that will allow for the construction and operation of a new airport to be located in Will County.</p><p>The legislation approved Thursday allows the Illinois Department of Transportation to enter into a public-private partnership to develop the South Suburban Airport in Peotone.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn calls the House vote a breakthrough. He says after years of pushing, the state is moving forward with developing a &quot;huge economic engine&quot; that will create jobs.</p><p>But some representatives criticized the way the bill was put together, lumping several projects around the state into one bill that was introduced hours before it was passed with 81 votes.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m concerned on the scope of this bill,&rdquo; Democratic State Rep. Jack Franks said Thursday. &ldquo;I think there&rsquo;s a lot of good things in here, but I also think there are things that would not and could not and should not pass on their own. And that&rsquo;s why they&rsquo;ve been put in this bill, to try to cover that up.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has criticized the idea of a third airport, and some lawmakers questioned how much use the airport would get and how much notice property owners would get before their land is used for the airport.</p><p>The measure also authorizes financing for a new 10,000-seat basketball arena for DePaul University near Chicago&#39;s McCormick Place. The facility also would be used as a hall for conventions and trade shows.</p><p>The bill now moves to the Senate.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 31 May 2013 11:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/new-will-county-airport-advances-illinois-house-107460 Emanuel considers privatizing Midway Airport http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/emanuel-considers-privatizing-midway-airport-104523 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F72113616" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/plane_.jpg" style="float: right; height: 454px; width: 300px;" title="Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday the city is considering selling off Midway Airport. (Flickr/Kossy@Finedays)" />Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday the city would look into privatizing Midway Airport.</div><p>The announcement comes just in time to make the December 31 deadline for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Airport Privatization Pilot Program.</p><p>The city will submit a preliminary application, timetable and draft of a Request for Qualification to the FAA to maintain a spot in the program. Officials said the program will allow the city to gain a better understanding of market conditions for a potential lease for Midway, according to a city press release.</p><p>Former Mayor Richard M. Daley <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/no-midway-privatization-what-it-means-city-finances">tried</a> to privatize Midway, but financing for the deal fell through in 2009. The Emanuel administration is stressing how any potential deal would be different from the deal proposed by the prior administration.</p><p>The Mayor&#39;s Officec said the move is not a commitment to selling Midway Airport, but they did release a list of certain conditions that any buyer would have to meet.</p><p>City officials said any lease would last up to 40 years, where Daley had proposed a 99-year lease. A deal would require the private operator to only a &quot;traveler&#39;s bill of rights&quot; to ensure customer protection.</p><p>The city would also receive revenue over time, instead of one big payment upfront. An Emanuel spokesperson said state law requires any revenue from the deal to go towards city infrastructure, pensions or the operating budget but said the city would not direct any money to the operating budget.<br /><br />Still, the administration can expect pushback from some Chicagoans who are wary of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-gets-22-million-bill-parking-meter-company-99509">yet</a> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/unionized-janitors-lose-battle-over-o%E2%80%99hare-jobs-104392">another</a> privatization deal.</p><p><strong>Proposed 2012 Deal:</strong></p><ul><li>Length&nbsp;&mdash; No more than 40 years.</li><li>Payment&nbsp;&mdash; Some portion paid upfront, followed by revenue-sharing model over time.</li><li>Use of Revenue&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;Initial proceeds used to pay off debt issued by City in 1996 to rebuild Midway Airport. Revenue received over time to be used for ongoing and futre city infrastructure projects.</li></ul><p><strong>Proposed 2008 Deal (under former Mayor Richard M. Daley):</strong></p><ul><li>Length&nbsp;&mdash; 99 years</li><li>Payment&nbsp;&mdash; 100 percent made upfront</li><li>Use of Revenue&nbsp;&mdash; Initial proceeds used to pay off debt issued by City in 1996 to rebuild Midway Airport. Remaining proceeds would be used for &quot;capital needs,&quot; which includes infrastructure, operating costs and pension obligations (required by law)</li></ul><p><em>(Proposal information provided by Mayor&#39;s office.)</em></p></p> Fri, 21 Dec 2012 06:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/emanuel-considers-privatizing-midway-airport-104523 Unionized janitors lose battle over O’Hare jobs http://www.wbez.org/news/unionized-janitors-lose-battle-over-o%E2%80%99hare-jobs-104392 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS3409_1387167671_43c9f53d5f.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hundreds of unionized janitors turned in their badges Friday at O&rsquo;Hare International Airport after losing their jobs in a contentious contract deal.</p><p>The task of cleaning and washing the windows at O&rsquo;Hare will now be taken over by 400 non-unionized workers.</p><p>Labor leaders and union members held protests Monday through Thursday. They targeted Mayor Rahm Emanuel for union-busting.</p><p>&ldquo;These were already organized union members,&rdquo; said Laura Garza, Secretary-Treasurer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1. &ldquo;So the question for the city is, why did they eliminate those good jobs, those middle-class jobs in the city? There was no need for the city of Chicago, for our mayor to do this to these workers.&rdquo;</p><p>United Maintenance, the company that won the 5-year contract with the City of Chicago said it&rsquo;s not up to them whether employees are unionized .</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s totally within the purview of the employee whether or not they want to unionize,&rdquo; said Anthony D&rsquo;Angelo, Vice President of Security with United Service Companies which oversees United Maintenance. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not management&rsquo;s decision.&rdquo;</p><p>The face-off between the union and United Maintenance has gotten more heated in the days leading up to the janitors&rsquo; final day on the job, with both sides telling very different versions of the story.</p><p>In press releases this week, SEIU said workers will be paid less for the same work; United Maintenance said it&rsquo;s paying some new hires more than they were making previously at O&rsquo;Hare as employees of Scrubs, Inc. SEIU said workers will have to pay for family health benefits when they didn&rsquo;t before; United Maintenance said its health package will be more comprehensive than the one offered by Scrubs, Inc.</p><p>Officials at the new contractor said they&rsquo;ve hired back 110 workers who were previously with the union. SEIU put that number at 50 out of 400 laid-off workers.</p><p>The starting wage for janitors with United Maintenance is $11.90 - 15 cents less than the starting wage with Scrubs, Inc.</p><p>Garza said SEIU will try to organize the new O&rsquo;Hare workers. She said those who lost their jobs did not want to speak to media Friday after an &ldquo;emotional week&rdquo;, but they are applying for unemployment and looking for work.</p></p> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/unionized-janitors-lose-battle-over-o%E2%80%99hare-jobs-104392 Strong winds delay Chicago flights http://www.wbez.org/news/strong-winds-delay-chicago-flights-103527 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/curimedia_flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hurricane Sandy has stranded many Chicago travelers again today.</p><p>Most flights heading to the Northeast coast are still canceled as airports deal with the aftermath of the storm system.</p><p>The Chicago Department of Aviation said about 325 flights out of O&rsquo;Hare and 75 at Midway were canceled Tuesday.</p><p>The massive storm system has also kicked up <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/wind-waves-make-tricky-commute-103517" target="_blank">winds</a> in Chicago that are causing travel delays.</p><p>&ldquo;We have high winds and it&rsquo;s going to necessitate either delays or additional cancellations on the part of air carriers that operate (in Chicago),&rdquo;&nbsp; said American Airlines spokesperson Mary Frances-Fagan. &ldquo;In times like this, bring your patience with you to the airport.&rdquo;</p><p>On <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/more-550-flights-canceled-chicago-airports-103486" target="_blank">Monday</a>, more than 450 flights at O&#39;Hare International Airport and more than 100 at Midway International Airport were canceled.</p><p>Officials said it could be days before some passengers can get to their destinations.</p><p>Worldwide, more than 15,000 flights have been cancelled because of the storm system.</p><p>Chicago officials said travelers should check with airlines before leaving home for the latest flight information.</p></p> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 13:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/strong-winds-delay-chicago-flights-103527 $153 million airport expansion under way in Gary http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-25/153-million-airport-expansion-under-way-gary-87009 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-25/Garyairport.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Wednesday, officials in Gary, Indiana break ground on a $153 million expansion of its airport. Extending one runway by nearly 2,000 feet will allow larger planes to land at the airport. That could be a boon for the long-struggling airport; especially efforts to make Gary/Chicago International the Chicago area’s third major airport.</p><p>To find out more, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke with WBEZ’s Northwest Indiana reporter, Michael Puente.</p><p><em>Music Button: The Paul Speidel Band, "Whoa Yeah!", from the CD Retrorocket, (PSP Recordings)</em></p></p> Wed, 25 May 2011 13:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-25/153-million-airport-expansion-under-way-gary-87009 Mayor Daley's final push for O'Hare expansion http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/mayor-daleys-final-push-ohare-expansion-85326 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/Daley OHare expansion.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>His days in office are winding down but Mayor Daley continues to push his plans for O’Hare International Airport. A recent trip to China reignited his ideas for a high speed train to take commuters from the airport to the city. Daley has been behind expansion since the early '90s – despite ongoing controversy.<br> <br> To find out more about the history of the project and what it means for the mayor’s legacy, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to <a href="http://las.depaul.edu/sps/about/ourfacultystaff/FullTimeFaculty/schwieterman.asp" target="_blank">Joseph Schwieterman</a>, a professor of public service management at DePaul University and an authority on the economics of urban transportation.</p><p><em>Music Button: The Echocentrics, "Crescent Sun", from the CD Sunshadows, (Ubiquity) </em></p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 14:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/mayor-daleys-final-push-ohare-expansion-85326 iPads now being used as menus http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/ipads-now-being-used-menus <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/iPad.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>An upscale downtown Chicago steakhouse is just one eatery across the country putting menus on iPads.</p><p>Chicago Cut steakhouse has invested in 40 iPads at about $700 each to showcase its wine menu. Since Apple debuted the iPad last spring the device is now in use as a menu at upscale restaurants, hamburger eateries and quick-service chains like Au Bon Pain. Restaurateurs say that's just the beginning.</p><p>Chicago Cut partnered with a technology firm to create a custom app that looks like a virtual wine cellar. Au Bon Pain uses iPads at six of its 220 locations, with plans to expand.</p><p>The tablets are arriving on the travel circuit, too. There are more than 200 iPads loaded with menus at gates in New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Celebrity Cruises has 75 iPads loaded with restaurant menus aboard one of its ships.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 03 Jan 2011 21:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/ipads-now-being-used-menus Cargo plane, United flight hit at O'Hare gate http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/cargo-plane-united-flight-hit-ohare-gate <p><p>A United Airlines spokesman said the wing of a cargo plane clipped the tail of a United Express jet at O'Hare International Airport, but no one was hurt.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson told the Chicago Tribune that the United flight was pulling into the gate about 9:15 p.m. Saturday when the accident happened. He said it didn't cause a commotion, and the 27 passengers and crew on board didn't even realize what had happened. All got off the plane safely.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />The United Express flight had come in from Charlotte, North Carolina.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Johnson said he didn't yet know whether the snow in Chicago played a role in the accident. The airline is investigating.<br /><br />Even after the snow stopped falling Saturday, the weather still caused delays at Chicago's largest airport.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />The Chicago Department of Aviation said delays were averaging 20 minutes Saturday evening for flights in and out of O'Hare International Airport. More than 325 flights were canceled.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Across town at Midway International Airport, airlines were reporting no delays and no cancellations late Saturday. Earlier in the day, delays were averaging 30 minutes.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Aviation officials are advising travelers to check their airlines' website to check the status of flights.</p></p> Sun, 05 Dec 2010 16:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/cargo-plane-united-flight-hit-ohare-gate