By Keith Laing - 09/30/11 07:47 PM EDT
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will meet next week with executives of major airlines to discuss ways to increase the city's already large presence in the national transportation industry.
Emanuel, who was President Obama's chief of staff before he ran for mayor of Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune Friday that it wasn't enough for Chicago to be the home of major airlines and the third busiest airport in the world.
"I do not want to just sit on that lead. I want to build it," Emanuel told the newspaper. "So I asked for this conference. The CEOs of all the major carriers are coming, as well as the Aviation Department, which is hosting it, to discuss what are the steps necessary, so Chicago doesn't have leadership, but what does it take to keep that lead."
Airplane manufacturer Boeing, United Airlines, and airfare website Orbitz.com are all based in Chicago.