Greising: Amazon Doesn’t Need a Peotone Airport, Despite What the Politicians Say

Amazon is on a building boom in the area. It has around 10 fulfillment centers in northeastern Illinois. But the e-commerce giant is making its new investment — and likely planning more — without so much as a public hint that it needs an extra airport in Peotone.

Close-up of logo for Amazon Warehouse on Amazon Prime package. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

If the fat of airport construction ever really starts frying down Peotone way, we can look back on this week as one point in which the insiders really tried to fire up the grill. Fortunately, there’s still a good chance they won’t succeed.

The moment in question was the announcement by e-commerce giant Amazon that it will build two new distribution centers in the south suburbs. The new facilities in Matteson and Markham are expected to employ about 2,000 people.

“With so many Amazon facilities emerging in the Chicago metro area, I am concerned that we’re going to need a more accessible airport … that isn’t on the other side of Chicago,” said U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Matteson.

State Sen. Napoleon Harris, D-Harvey, called on Gov. J.B. Pritzker for more vocal support for the long-discussed Peotone airport, as a way to lure more investment from Amazon. And Pritzker, not to be outdone, reminded that he set aside $205 million of his proposed $45 billion infrastructure program for road construction related to the proposed airport.

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