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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois


Congresswoman Kelly, House Speaker Mike Madigan ask Governor Pritzker to support South Suburban Airport

May 3, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC - U.S. Representative Robin Kelly, along with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and 52 south suburban officials, sent a letter to Governor JB Pritzker requesting his support for the South Suburban Airport (SSA) and surrounding infrastructure.

“The time has come to finally build the South Suburban Airport. We know it will create thousands of good-paying jobs, boost our economy and allow Illinois to reclaim its aviation pre-eminence,” said Congresswoman Kelly

The lawmakers wrote: “Just as Midway and O’Hare spearheaded Illinois’ growth for the past century, SSA will be a cornerstone for prosperity in the 21st Century…As proposed, it will create an economic engine south of Chicago that would generate tens of thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions in annual tax revenues, and billions in new economic activity for Illinois.”

They continued, “Chicago is the largest US market without three airports;” adding that New York, Washington, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco each have three major airports.

Acknowledging that airports take decades to plan and rarely happen, officials wrote: “Thanks to the bipartisan efforts by five governors over decades, Illinois has secured the key components – land assemblage, legislative authority, and broad business, labor and political support.” 

The FAA first urged Chicago to build a third airport in 1985. Due to capacity constraints, the city has been losing cargo and passenger market-share to places like Denver and Dallas for 20 years.

Kelly and lawmakers also urge the Governor to “apportion $150 million in the 2020 capital bill for initial off-site improvements—a new interchange on I-57, local road upgrades, and connectivity to utilities.”  The actual airport, near Monee, will be financed with private dollars.

The letter was signed by three members of Congress; 14 state legislators, including Speaker Madigan; 29 mayors; four Chicago aldermen; two Cook County commissioners and two mayors-elect who represent Cook, Will and Kankakee counties.

Read the full letter here.


Robin Kelly



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