Chicago To Open Downtown Heliport

Ten years after the destruction of Meigs Field in downtown Chicago, a new heliport is about to open. The facility is being billed as a “vertiport” since it is designed to accommodate VTOL aircraft such as the Agusta AW609 tiltrotor.

Plans are for the facility to open early next year on a 10-acre piece of land near 14th Street and Ashland Avenue owned by the Illinois Medical District Commission. The facility will include a 15,000-square-foot terminal and a 30,000-square-foot hangar, with the ability to accommodate 60 helicopters simultaneously.

According to an article in Crain's Chicago Business, the funding for the $13 million project was arranged by real estate investor Stephen Quazzo. He said the money comes from "private, sophisticated investors," and the vertiport will be built without a construction loan. Construction is expected to begin this summer. Quazzo noted that, since Meigs Field closed, "there's been absolutely nowhere to land helicopters within the city unless you're the president."

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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