Construction begins on first new terminal 5 gates at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

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Chicago O’Hare International Airport has begun construction on the first phase of a significant expansion of Terminal 5 at O’Hare International Airport, which will provide 10 new gates.

Muller & Muller (M2) and HOK are leading the design of more than 300,000ft² of new space in Terminal 5. This will be the terminal’s first major expansion since it opened in 1993 and will allow O’Hare to welcome more travelers comfortably.

The Terminal 5 expansion is a key component of the O’Hare 21 program, a comprehensive effort by the City of Chicago and the airlines to modernize one of the world’s most-traveled airports. The Terminal 5 project will increase the terminal’s capacity by 25%, adding new gates and upgrading existing gate sizes to accommodate the larger aircraft increasingly used for international flights.

The Terminal 5 expansion will also enable further redevelopment projects at O’Hare. The first phases of construction will include adding new pavement east of Terminal 5 and relocating facilities to allow for the construction of new gates.

William Jenkinson, RIBA, principal and aviation and transportation practice leader for HOK in Chicago, said, “O’Hare is at the heart of Chicago’s air transportation legacy and these modernization efforts will ensure that it remains a true international gateway for our city.”

“Our design will create an exceptional passenger experience and infrastructure that will not only stand the test of time but adapt and grow to accommodate changes in how we will travel in the future.”

Cindy Muller, president, M2, added, “Chicago’s airports are the front doors to our city, and they play a crucial role in our day-to-day lives. The design team has roots here. Together we’ll work to build a long-term engine of economic opportunity and growth for Chicago.”

Terminal 5 currently accommodates the majority of O’Hare’s international travel, serving passengers from more than 45 countries and over 260 destinations. As renovations continue, Delta Air Lines and the SkyTeam Alliance will be relocated to Terminal 5. This renovation and expansion project will open up the terminal to amenities and services provided in other areas of the airport; improve airline clubs, shopping and dining experiences; enhance passenger comfort; and make it easier for passengers to navigate through the terminal.

The design will future-proof gates to accommodate new and next-generation aircraft, like Boeing’s Dreamliner, as well as smaller domestic jets. The extension will be designed so that gates can accommodate wide-body aircraft, but they can also be converted to narrow-body positions as the terminal is repurposed.

To minimize the impact on travelers, airlines and businesses currently operating in the terminal, construction will follow a phased approach.

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Kirstie joined the team in early 2017 and brings writing, communications and client experience with her. Now an assistant editor, she produces content for our magazines and websites. Away from the office, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or searching the internet for photos of sausage dogs.

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