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Chicago Midway Buffer Zones to be created

by Matt Falcus

Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 overran the runway at Midway in 2005, killing a childFour areas of land around Midway Airport are to be acquired to help make the airport safer. Chicago City Council made the announcement this week.

In 2005 a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 slid off the runway and killed a young boy in a car whilst landing in snowy conditions. The nature of the airport’s location means it is hemmed in on all sides by roads, commercial premises and residential neighbourhoods.

Although limited runway safety zones exist to aid in stopping overruns, it is hoped that by adding an additional buffer area it will further prevent any more loss of life should an accident occur again.

Naturally there are some who feel the compulsory purchase of some historic premises is not welcome. However it seems the council will definitely be going ahead with the plans.

One option is to create areas of parkland in the new buffer zone, which holds the tantalising prospect of new public areas to watch aircraft coming and going at Chicago Midway. We shall wait and see.

What do you think of the plans? Do you live nearby?

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