SPRRINGFIELD – The South Suburban Airport may soon be reality, thanks to the Senate members of the South Suburbs.

“This is a touchdown for communities across the South Suburbs,” said State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey). “This airport will serve as an economic engine for our communities and provide local businesses with access to global markets for generations to come.”

For the last 40 years, lawmakers have attempted to secure a south suburban airport in the Monee community. The measure – spearheaded by Harris – passed on Wednesday, would require the state to establish the process to find partners in the construction of a new south suburban airport.

"We support this project to help create many exciting new opportunities for working families in the South Suburbs for generations to come," said Illinois AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Pat Devaney. "It will jump-start the process leading to the thousands of good-paying union construction jobs to build the airport, and create many long-term career opportunities in the direct airport operations and all of the businesses that will develop around it."

The South Suburban Airport Act, which became law more than a decade ago, established that the state may develop a prequalification process. However, steps were not taken to begin to prequalification process, Senators from the South Suburban Corridor believe this initiative will jump-start the process.

“This new facility will help establish the Southland as an economic hub for generations to come,” Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) said. “For years, we have heard promises of this vital resource. I am proud to help bring it to fruition.”

The measure also adds domestic and global freight cargo transfer development to the stated goals for the airport.

“The airport holds the promise of bringing in countless opportunities for economic growth, job creation and increased revenue for our area,” said State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex). “It only makes sense we are finally moving forward with the project after 40 years in the making.”

House Bill 2531 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the governor’s desk for further consideration.