MONEE, Ill. — Local leaders are celebrating a new law which will force the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to review development proposals for the long talked-about South Suburban Airport, and decide if the project can move forward.

House Bill 2531 passed the House 72-40 on Mar. 16, and the Senate 33-20 on May 17. It was then signed by Gov. Pritzker on July 28. The subsequent law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024 and puts a six-month deadline in place for IDOT to establish a prequalification process and begin reviewing proposals to develop and maintain the airport.

Tuesday, U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (IL-02) held a press conference, alongside several other area leaders, to celebrate the impending prequalification process and discuss the impact they believe an airport will have on the region.

See the full press conference, plus a discussion with WGN investigative reporter Ben Bradley, in the video above.

The development has been debated for roughly four decades, and IDOT has spent nearly $100 million buying more than 4,500 acres over the years. There is currently an airport in operation on site; Bult Field, which has 139 hangars and a 5,001 feet long runway. It’s located near Peotone but with a Monee address, about 40 miles south of Chicago.