MidAmerica didn't save Scott

November 3, 2013 

This letter is in response to George Ahring's letter about MidAmerica Airport. First, Scott Air Force Base never had a major airlift mission other than nine C9s flying a medevac mission.

The Military Airlift Command was considering giving up Scott for that reason. Most of the buildings and military housing was old and inadequate.

MAC was landing all of its big airlifters at Scott for years including C-141s and C-5s and at the time never had KC-135s or KC-10s. Scott was taken off the closure list in Washington.

When our local politicians decided to maybe build an airport adjacent to Scott, the first thing they did was to sneak a bill through our state legislature to prohibit local residents from voting against it. The people finally got to vote on a nonbinding measure and it was voted against 75 percent to 25 percent.

In 1985 the Illinois Department of Transportation hired the consulting firm TAMS to study the feasibility of joint use as a way of funding the airport. They came up with all these crazy predictions of millions of people flying out of MidAmerica in 10 years.

Local politicians and the County Board continued to predict thousand of jobs and millions of people flying out of the airport, even though aviation experts kept telling them it was a boondoggle.

The bottom line is MidAmerica was not a player in retaining Scott, nor will it be in the future. The county continues to pour money down a rat hole.

Ron Ahrens


Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service