Plans unveiled for expansion of O’Hare International

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Initial details of multi-billion dollar capital investment program (CIP) have been unveiled for O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, including the expansion of Terminal 5 (T5) and redevelopment of Terminal 2 (T2).

The first stage of the program involves expanding T5 by approximately 25% and adding nine new gates. It will cost approximately US$300m and represents the first expansion of T5 since it opened 23 years ago. The project will support an estimated 1,100 jobs.

The program also envisions redeveloping T2 into a new central facility within the existing complex. Amenities in the new terminal could include multiple concessions, a new US Customs and Border Protection facility and an improved departure hall with additional space for TSA passenger screening. In addition to the new central terminal, the plans take into account the construction of a new concourse to the west of the terminal, which can be built to help deal with increased passenger numbers at a later date.

Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, said, “This is an important step forward in our ongoing work to ensure that O’Hare serves as the economic engine for the people of Chicago and an international gateway for travelers around the world. From adding more gates and improving the international terminal to constructing the most efficient runway system in the country, we are ensuring that O’Hare continues to be an economic driver for the city of Chicago long into the future. I want to thank our airline partners for recognizing the valuable role of O’Hare airport, and working with the city on building a better Chicago.”

The announcement serves as the next step in ‘O’Hare 21’, a collaborative partnership with: federal, state and local agencies; airline partners; and representatives from organized labor and other business groups. The project will complement ongoing capital improvements already taking place at the airport, including the construction of a new runway and development of three new airport hotels. The city council and airlines will continue to evaluate the best approach for accommodating growth, and it is expected that the program will evolve through further planning and negotiations. The planning process is scheduled for completion next year.

Oscar Munoz, president and CEO of United Airlines, said, “As Chicago’s hometown airline, we are committed to building a stronger, more vibrant O’Hare that will help elevate the travel experience for our customers. We support the city’s effort to expand T5 and will continue working with our partners to develop the long term vision for O’Hare.”

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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