A Chicago appeal court has issued a temporary restraining order until 4 June barring the city from any further destruction of Meigs Field airport. The move came within hours of a state court decision to dismiss a lawsuit by Friends of Meigs Field, filed against the city for bulldozing the general aviation airport's single runway in the early hours of 31 March.

The US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is fearful that the fate of the lakefront airport has already been decided following a decision by a federal judge to decline its request for a restraining order immediately after the state court action. "One of the reasons cited by the judge was that AOPA would not prevail in its lawsuit against the city," says AOPA.

The judge also cited the inaction on the part of the US Federal Aviation Administration, says the association. "He suggested, if the destruction of Meigs was something that concerned the FAA, why have they not moved aggressively to enforce and enact their regulations?" AOPA adds.

Before the court case, AOPA proposed that the city of Chicago purchase Meigs from its current owner, the Chicago Park District and reopen the airport using funds from the FAA's airport improvement programme.

AOPA says the funding would provide a "win-win" situation for everyone, with resources to improve existing parks and create a new one on Northerly Island "where there's adequate space for a park and the airport".

Source: Flight International