CHICAGO (CBS) — Several alderman have joined union airport workers in an effort to create an elected airport authority, and wrestle control of O’Hare and Midway airports away from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Supporters of the push for an elected airport board is that every other major airport in the U.S. is run by either an elected authority, or a board one appointed by both the local mayor and the governor. They said Chicago is the only city to have its airports run directly out of City Hall.

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“Throughout the United States and internationally, there are airport authorities, there are airport boards that work together with the constituencies of each of those cities and countries to make sure that it is the taxpayers, the citizens, the people that use those airports that are put first,” Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) said.

The alderman said an elected airport authority could bring a lot of benefits to travelers, airlines, and people living near the airports.

“Noise control issues, which we’ve seen have been ignored for many, many years; and have come to a head just in recent months. You look today at what the TSA is doing, and how security has backed up airport users by the hours,” he said.

Waguespack said skyrocketing complaints about jet noise over the past few years after O’Hare flight patterns were changed, and the excruciatingly long lines for security at both airports in recent months are signs better management is needed at O’Hare and Midway.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the Chicago Department of Aviation called the proposal for an elected airport authority “backwards in its approach.”

“It should be noted that no other major airport in the country has an elected airport authority. Under Mayor Emanuel we have made major strides at the airports – modernizing terminals, improving the experience for visitors, adding the first gates at O’Hare in 20 years, addressing noise, and we are about to break ground on a new runway at O’Hare. We oppose subjecting thousands of jobs and the economic future of the region to an unknown and untested political process.”

Tom Balanoff, president of Service Employees International Union Local 1, which represents airport workers said the employees are underpaid and abused under City Hall management.

“They are rewarded with poverty wages, with wage theft, discrimination, and retaliation,” he said.

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Marcy Barnett, a former airport security guard, said she was fired for talking about working conditions.

“They had a score to settle, because I stood up for my rights,” she said.

Balanoff was asked why Emanuel would willingly give up control of the airports.

“Regardless of what the mayor may or may not think, we think it’s a good idea,” he said.

Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) suggested an elected airport authority would light a fire under the TSA to quickly fix the problems creating increasingly long lines at airport security checkpoints.

“Travelers are waiting hours to be processed,” she said.

For the past two days, the city’s Aviation Department has recommended people flying out of O’Hare and Midway arrive three hours before their scheduled flight, due to the long lines at TSA checkpoints. That’s even longer than the TSA’s recommendation of a two-hour cushion for domestic flights, though the TSA recommends three hours for international flights. American Airlines, the second largest carrier at O’Hare, has said more than 4,000 travelers have missed their flights since February due to long security lines.

Also joining the call for an elected airport board were Aldermen Leslie Hairston (5th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), and Toni Foulkes (16th).

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Supporters of the proposal are trying to get the question placed on the November ballot.