State transportation officials are announcing a step forward in their plans for an airport south of Chicago. The Illinois Department of Transportation says the state has purchased the Bult Field general aviation airport for $34 million. It plans to absorb that facility into the future South Suburban Airport it wants to build outside the Will County village of Peotone. The purchase includes 288 acres of land, including the airport's 5,000-foot runway, taxiway, hangars and terminal. It also includes farmland surrounding the airfield near Monee. IDOT Director of Aeronautics Susan Shea calls it a ``defining milestone for the South Suburban Airport.'' The state will continue to operate Bult Field as a general aviation airport until it is incorporated into the future airport's inaugural footprint.
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