July 28, 2000

PEOTONE -- The Federal Aviation Administration will hold a public meeting next month in Peotone as part of an environmental review of land that could become the site of a third airport for the Chicago area, FAA officials said Thursday.

The FAA is studying whether a 24,000-acre site meets general requirements for airport development, said Tony Molinaro, an FAA spokesman.

Molinaro stressed that the hearing, scheduled for Aug. 30, will focus on the environmental aspects of the proposed Peotone airport.

"This is only to discuss the purchase of the land," Molinaro said. "No buildings, facilities or anything are part of this."

The FAA began consideration of the proposed Peotone airport two months ago when it announced its environmental review.

Thursday, Illinois Department of Transportation officials said they favor of the hearing.

The state has budgeted $75 million to buy land for the airport.

But before the FAA can put Peotone on a list of federally approved airport construction projects, IDOT and the FAA must solve discrepancies in forecasts of how many passengers the airport would serve.