Friday, March 4, 2011

Chicago Airport vs. The Airlines - ligitation war!

United Airlines and American Airlines sued the city of Chicago in Cook County Circuit Court a little over a month ago seeking to block further financing of a program to expand O'Hare International Airport.   The airlines asked the court to declare that the city is obligated to obtain airline approval for the $3.36 billion completion phase of the O'Hare Modernization Program.  The carriers also want the court to block the city from constructing all or any part of the completion phase.

 (O'Hare International Airport from 10,000 feet)

 With the lawsuit in place, the city of Chicago had to indefinitely put on hold a nearly $1 billion bond sale for its O'Hare International Airport.  The city, which had scheduled pricing for the bonds for February 1 and 2 through Citigroup, plans to file a motion on Thursday to dismiss the lawsuit.

The bottom line:  The city wants a bigger airport, the airlines feel it's unnecessary and don't want to help pay for it.  The airport and/or City still wishes to resolve major differences over the financing and timing of new runways at O'Hare, which the airlines say won't be needed for years.  They're eager to move forward with expansion.  We'll see if the pending lawsuit will stop this progress or not, it'll all go down in court soon.

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