John F. Infanger, editor of AirportBusiness.com, offers his comments on the O’Hare expansion. The bottom line:

Chicago has an opportunity to remain the east-west keystone to commerce, but it needs another airport. Peotone is standing by. Reconstituting ORD is, from this vantage point, misguided vision. It is the consummate example of politics overtaking reason.

Worth a read.

While the judge’s ruling allows the city to resume buying properties, the city has agreed it won’t disturb any graves at the St. Johannes Cemetery until a federal appeals court in Washington rules on another lawsuit opponents have filed against the Federal Aviation Administration, city attorney Diane Pezanoski said.

Story here, via Airport Business.

You know the O’Hare AAs are busy. Consider this timeline:

  • September 30: After receiving final FAA approval, ground breaking ceremony for O’Hare’s $14.7 billion expansion project
  • September 30, one hour later: Served with injunction on $14.7 billion expansion project. Part of claim involves a First Amendment challenge to the plan to extend the runway through 168-year-old St. Johannes Cemetery.
  • October 25: After City agrees not to disturb gravesites at St. Johannes, Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit lifts its earlier stay, allowing project to proceed.
  • October 31: Opponents turn to a federal judge in Illinois for help.
  • November 3: Judge assents, in a fashion, allowing the project to continue but halting acquisition of property in Bensenville for the project. Order to expire November 14 (yesterday, as of this posting) to allow time for the court to become familiar with the case.
  • Same day: Things take an ugly turn as one couple who sold their home to the City for the project reports vandalism on the home, and claims they’re being harrassed because they agreed to participate in the acquisition project.

It gets worse from there. Bensenville leaders begin accusing Chicago officials of spreading "hysteria" over the acquisition program. Chicago’s O’Hare Modernization Program officials respond: "Not true, just trying to help people start over."

One thing is certain:With headlines such as those that follow (especially the last), this will get more intense before it eases up. Stay tuned – more updates as events warrant.

Here are the links to read, in chronological order of date of release:

Court Puts O’Hare Expansion on Hold (UPI)
Court Allows O’Hare Development Resumption (Travel Blackboard)
O’Hare Expansion Opponents Seek Court Injunction (AP via ABC7Chicago.com)
Court Puts Hold On Chicago Airport Property Buys (Reuters via Washington Post)
Home Sold For O’Hare Expansion Vandalized (NBC5.com)
Couple Who Sold Home For O’Hare Expansion Claims Harrassment (AP via ABC7Chicago.com)
City Accused of Spreading Hysteria Over O’Hare (CBS2Chicago.com)
Judge Delays O’Hare Decision Until Wednesday (ABC7Chicago.com)
Chicago’s Daley Duels Widow Over Plan to Move Cemetery (Bloomberg)