Chicago To Open Downtown Heliport

Private investors fund city “vertiport.”

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

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."