WBEZ | Midway http://www.wbez.org/tags/midway Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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 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 A bird's-eye view of airports in Emanuel's Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/birds-eye-view-airports-emanuels-chicago-90942 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-23/airplane.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We’re taking stock of what’s new in Rahm Emanuel's administration as well as what's been moving along as usual. Since Chicago’s election, news about city airports has been a mixed bag of old problems and new opportunities. We give a birds-eye view of what’s happening with airports in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago.</p><p>Let’s start at O’Hare, Chicago's flagship airport and one the world’s busiest. How’s Rahm Emanuel dealt with that in the past 100 days?</p><p>SCHWIETERMAN: He’s really come in with, everything gets looked at again.</p><p>This is Joseph Schwieterman, a transportation professor at DePaul University. Schwieterman says Emanuel looked at the smaller stuff at O’Hare - like a politically-charged concessions contract, as well as the biggest: the 15-billion dollar expansion. Schwieterman says when it came to O’Hare expansion, the new mayor got on board quickly.</p><p>SCHWIETERMAN: The O’Hare project has progressed so far now that I think there’s a general sense that there’s no turning back.</p><p>Having said we thought even three months ago that this was going to be the big summer for airline travel. &nbsp;That’s not happening.</p><p>ANDOLINO: We need to not live in just today but we need to be prepared for the future.</p><p>That’s Rosemarie Andolino, Commissioner of the city’s Department of Aviation.</p><p>ANDOLINO: We want to continue to be an airport, a global airport, bringing commerce here to our state. And it is our economic engine. I think everybody realizes that.</p><p>Commissioner Andolino’s one of the few holdovers from Mayor Daley’s administration.&nbsp;She says Rahm Emanuel is not slowing things down.</p><p>ANDOLINO: In terms of aviation, I think the commitment continues to be just as great. Again, creating jobs, bettering the customers’ experience, enhancing the customers’ experience is a leading desire for Mayor Emanuel that we continue to do here.</p><p>It’s not clear, though, whether all the airlines at O’Hare can stay on board with the project without fighting City Hall over costs and benefits.</p><p>Now, to the Southwest Side of Chicago.&nbsp;That’s where Midway Airport is nestled among bungalow houses and rail yards.&nbsp;Chicago’s been trying to hold onto and expand O’Hare, but Midway?&nbsp;The city’s trying to lease it out. In fact, it almost did lease out Midway two years ago, but the $2.5 billion deal fell through.&nbsp;Rosemarie Andolino says Rahm Emanuel is still thinking about it.</p><p>ANDOLINO: Right now, the administration is keeping all of its options open. There are pros and cons to everything. And so, we’ll just have to see with a little more time to see how things play out and what’s best for Chicago.</p><p>Now, Midway and O’Hare are technically in the city, but you may not know there’s a third Chicago airport.&nbsp;It's called Gary-Chicago International Airport and it’s right across the Indiana state line in Gary.&nbsp;It’s small, and it doesn’t have a passenger airline yet.&nbsp;So, it’s little wonder that Mayor Richard Daley didn’t talk much about Gary-Chicago, and Rahm Emanuel hasn’t, either.&nbsp;That’s had people in Indiana worry that Rahm Emanuel would pull Chicago out. Here’s Gary-Chicago airport board member Ross Amundson.</p><p>AMUNDSON: Certainly that’s a question you ask any time somebody new comes to the table. We’ve seen nothing that would indicate that continued relationship and trust isn’t going to continue.</p><p>Chicago aviation chief Rosemarie Andolino says no one needs to worry.&nbsp;When it comes to airports, Chicago’s got Gary’s back.</p><p>ANDOLINO: It’s almost like a big brother, little brother kind of relationship. Or, big sister I should say.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel hasn’t talked all that much about airports during his administration.&nbsp;But Andolino says he’ll change that soon.&nbsp;He plans to host an aviation summit with industry leaders this fall.</p></p> Wed, 24 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/birds-eye-view-airports-emanuels-chicago-90942 Storms knock out power, cause travel delays; ComEd says restoration could take days http://www.wbez.org/story/storms-knock-out-power-cause-travel-delays-comed-says-restoration-could-take-days-88963 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-11/medilltree_Marc Zarefsky.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than 500,000 customers are still without power Monday afternoon, after the most damaging storm system in more than a decade roared through northern Illinois this morning, leaving downed trees and debris in its wake.</p><p>The severe storms packed winds as high as 80 mph and wreaked havoc on the morning commute. As of&nbsp; 5 p.m. Monday, Commonwealth Edison Co. reported that crews were still out trying to get the power back on for 541,000 customers. The heaviest reported outages were in the northern suburbs.&nbsp;</p><p>“It has to do with downed power lines and other damage to our equipment. You know, this storm in particular brought with it some heavy rains, high winds and lots of lightening that struck our equipment and also, you know, struck trees that fell on our power lines, causing them to go down,” said Tony Hernandez with ComEd.</p><p>He also said that ComEd is hiring private contractors and workers from other states to help clean up.</p><p>The electric company said the storm system has affected at least 852,000 customers in all, though many have had their power turned back on. That makes it the most destructive storm since 1998.</p><p>The combination of power outages and high temperatures has city of Chicago officials working to prevent heat-related illnesses for people without air conditioning. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says the city has received calls about outages from about a dozen buildings housing seniors, who are most at-risk during hot spells.</p><p>"In the upper floors of these buildings, it's not unusual, if you have 90 degrees of outside temperature, for the inside temperature in some of these buildings to rise well over 100 degrees," Langford said, adding that some buildings could be evacuated if the power remains out for too long and temperatures begin to climb.</p><p>Airlines at O’Hare International Airport were experiencing delays up to 90 minutes for in and outbound flights and canceled more than 200 flights, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.</p><p>At Midway International, airlines report a few delays between 30-90 minutes for in and outbound flights, with minor cancellations.</p><p>Service to the CTA Yellow Line was restored at 9:40 a.m. after a power outage.&nbsp; The Purple Line is experiencing delays, with service running on a single track. The Red Line was experiencing delays with debris on the elevated tracks that has since been cleared.&nbsp; The CTA had put shuttle buses in place at the time.</p><p>Metra saw major closures Monday morning as well. The Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific West lines were shut down for several hours Monday morning because of high winds. All three lines went back into service around 9 a.m., but significant travel delays persist on all three lines.</p><p>The Chicago region will most likely be spared from another round of heavy storms, according to National Weather Service forecasts. But heat index values are expected to climb above 100 degrees Monday afternoon.</p><p>"The main story is gonna be the humidity values," said meteorologist Kevin Birk. "We've got very high humidity values. And because of that, it's gonna make the temperature feel very warm."</p><p>Temperatures are expected to drop into the 70s Monday night, with normal highs returning Tuesday.</p><p>The city of Chicago's Department of Family and Support Services is asking people to check on seniors, and to call 311 if they have a neighbor who needs help.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Department spokeswoman Anne Sheahan says use of the city’s six cooling centers Monday was light for a hot day. She says 32 people had arrived by 4 p.m.</p><p>Natasha Payton and 93-year-old grandfather appreciated the one in East Garfield Park.</p><p>“We used to have the air conditioner running,” Payton said Monday afternoon. “But nothing is on because the power [has been] out since 8:30 this morning. It’s stifling hot in the house.”</p><p>Sheahan says use of the cooling centers could be heavier Tuesday if ComEd has not restored electricity to most of the Chicago homes without it.<br> &nbsp;</p><p><iframe height="500" src="https://www.comed.com/sites/customerservice/Pages/OutageMap.aspx" width="600"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 11 Jul 2011 15:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/storms-knock-out-power-cause-travel-delays-comed-says-restoration-could-take-days-88963 Storms rock Chicago area, snarling transit and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands http://www.wbez.org/story/storms-rock-chicago-area-snarling-transit-and-knocking-out-power-hundreds-thousands-88177 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-22/Chicago storms 6-22 AP Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Heavy rains, high winds and funnel clouds tore through Chicago and surrounding suburbs Tuesday night. Winds were reported up to 85 miles per hour, and funnel clouds were spotted in Kingston, Naperville, Grayslake and Sugar Grove.</p><p>The weather forced hundreds of flight cancellations at Chicago's two major airports Tuesday night. The Chicago Aviation Department reports more than 300 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport, with 30 cancellations at Midway International Airport.</p><p>Storms also caused service disruptions for the Chicago Transit Authority. As of 5:30 Wednesday morning, the Yellow Line had been suspended and there were service disruptions on the Purple Line.</p><p>As of 1:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Commonwealth Edison said the storms knocked out power to about 400,000 customers around Chicago. Since the storm began, ComEd has restored power for 193,000 customers.</p><p>A spokesman for Chicago's commuter rail Metra service said a train Tuesday was standing with outbound passengers for about five hours when a powerful storm knocked down a power line in the train's path.</p><p>Metra spokesman Michael Gillis Said passengers who were stuck when the train was stalled in Irving Park were being asked either to find another way home or to wait even longer for another train.</p><p>Two inbound trains also remained stranded before dawn Wednesday, though Gillis says one had no passengers aboard and the other had few, if any.</p><p>There were numerous other delays and cancellations on the rail line due to thunderstorms and heavy winds that pounded the upper Midwest through the night.</p></p> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 10:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/storms-rock-chicago-area-snarling-transit-and-knocking-out-power-hundreds-thousands-88177 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 Snow ends, but dig out and recovery just beginning http://www.wbez.org/story/blizzard/forecast-includes-heavy-snow-strong-winds-thunderstorms-and-extreme-cold <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Lake Shore Drive bulldozer BLIZZARD - AP Kiichiro Sato.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Updated: 3:09 PM</strong></p><p>Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley says the city's public schools will be open tomorrow. But Daley says there is still a &quot;long way to go&quot; as the city digs out from the third-largest winter storm in its history.</p><p>Daley spoke Thursday morning, two days after the snow started falling in Chicago. The storm left more than 20 inches of snow at O'Hare International Airport. The mayor says &quot;while all the snow has ended, the effects of the snow will be with us for a while.&quot;</p><p>Chicago's iconic Lake Shore Drive was reopened early Thursday morning, after being closed down since Tuesday night due to the massive snow storm that hit the city.</p><p>Crews continued working to clear and reopen Lake Shore Drive overnight, which was closed on Tuesday evening after blizzard conditions, snowdrifts and a series of traffic accidents made the road treacherous and impassable.</p><p>Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley&rsquo;s chief of staff, Raymond Orozco, told reporters Thursday morning that plowing the city&rsquo;s side streets are now the top priority.</p><p>&ldquo;Most of the focus has moved to the side streets, just eight hours after the storm ended,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>The announcement comes after crews worked through the night to re-open Lake Shore Drive around 5:30 Thursday morning. Orozco said the city has in its possession 519 vehicles that were abandoned on Lake Shore Drive during the snow storm. He said a <a href="http://www.alertchicago.org">website</a> has been created for vehicle owners to search for their license plates to find out where their cars are being held. Orozco addressed concerns from the public that they couldn&rsquo;t find where the city had taken their car which had been abandoned on Lake Shore Drive.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Because the situation was fluid as we got to a relocation site that may have been full, we moved that vehicle to another relocation site. So early on the situation was fluid.&rdquo;</p><p>Hundreds of motorists were stranded on the Drive as a result of the closure, and some waited for hours to be evacuated from their cars.</p><p>Frigid temperatures and subzero wind-chills threaten to make travel and recovery efforts difficult during the next few days.&nbsp; That's according to emergency management leaders with the City of Chicago.&nbsp;</p><p>During a news conference late Wednesday, city officials urged people to stay home if at all possible, as temperatures are expected to drop sharply during the next 12 hours.&nbsp; Public health officials, however, encouraged people to check on friends, family and neighbors.&nbsp; So far there have been at least four deaths attributed to the weather in the Chicago area.</p><p>Emergency officials are also urging those shoveling snow to be extra careful, especially those with heart conditions&nbsp; 40 people in the Chicago-area died of heart attacks sparked by shoveling snow during the major blizzard of 1999, according to the National Weather Service.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Feb 2011 12:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/blizzard/forecast-includes-heavy-snow-strong-winds-thunderstorms-and-extreme-cold Midway ranks last in on-time departures http://www.wbez.org/story/airports/midway-ranks-last-time-departures <p><p>Chicago's Midway International Airport is ranked dead last among the 29 busiest airports in the nation in on-time departures. That's according to new statistics from the Department of Transportation for the month of November.</p><p>Joe Schwieterman, a transportation expert at DePaul University, said, &quot;Midway's feeling the pain of just growing volumes, and Southwest (Airlines) is increasingly running it as a hub. It's the second largest airport in the Southwest system. So they face the problem of having to hold flights often for late-arriving flights. So one late-arriving flight can delay a half a dozen departing flights. It's a real problem.&quot;</p><p>Schwieterman said Southwest has a &quot;massive East Coast operation.&quot; And he said the East Coast had terrible weather in November which led to some delays.<br /><br />Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said the department is not aware of any operational issues at the airport causing delays, other than occasional bad weather.<br /><br />O'Hare International Airport was 10th in on-time departures in November. Both O'Hare and Midway ranked in the middle-of-the-pack among airports in on-time arrivals for the month.</p></p> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 19:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/airports/midway-ranks-last-time-departures 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 Protests not a big deal at O'Hare http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/protests-not-big-deal-ohare <p><p>Early reports indicated a relatively smooth day of holiday travel in the Chicago area.<br /><br />There were no significant delays through early afternoon at either of Chicago's airports, despite warnings of delays caused by people determined to opt-out of body scans.<br /><br />Jel Stewart is an interactive marketing specialist at Travelocity. He's at O'Hare airport. &quot;I haven't seen anybody make any fuss about doing the body scan or doing any opt-outs,&quot; Stewart said. &quot;They've only had one or two scanners on from what I can see. It looks like they've just been doing random body scans. Otherwise, people are just going through the standard scanner that we've been used to going through.&quot;<br /><br />Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said, &quot;Everything is operating normally. There are, I would describe, light crowds here at O'Hare. No problems getting through the security lines. The lines aren't long at all.&quot;<br /><br />According to the Illinois State Police, road travel is expected to peak during the early part of afternoon rush hour when rain is called for, but temperatures should stay above freezing.</p></p> Wed, 24 Nov 2010 19:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/protests-not-big-deal-ohare