Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has unveiled plans made by the city and its airline partners to expand O’Hare International Airport’s offering with a new world-class terminal, adding 25% more gate capacity and modernizing the hub throughout.
The US$8.5bn program will create a world-class international terminal. O’Hare Global Terminal – previously Terminal 5 – will incorporate state-of-the-art security screening, three new baggage systems, and advanced technologies throughout the hub, such as self-service offerings.
Terminal 2 will be largely demolished and rebuilt to include a new international arrivals facility, and renovations will be made to Terminals 1 and 3. These changes will expand gate capacity and set in motion a range of other improvements to enhance airline performance and the overall passenger experience.
The project will create 60,000 construction jobs leading up to 2026. Through the plans outlined in the agreement, the partnership hopes to achieve a better level of customer service for passengers, fewer delays, more choices for travel, and a seamless journey to final destinations.
Ginger S Evans, Chicago department of aviation commissioner, said, “This agreement is a win for O’Hare and our customers, thanks to the investments the city and our airline partners are making to ensure our top connected airport is positioned to grow for the future.
“Our plans will put O’Hare at the forefront of the industry, providing the absolute best value when it comes to customer service, efficiency and innovation. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring O’Hare’s economic power also strengthens our community, and will ensure that our investments bring more opportunities for all Chicagoans.”
The upgrades are set to grow O’Hare’s overall terminal space by more than 60%, from 5,500,000 to 8,900,000ft² (826,840m²).
With construction due to begin next year, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and its partners will establish a workforce development program to connect residents to construction jobs and other airport employment opportunities.