The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) today received the green light to go ahead with its proposed Terminal Area Plan at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
The decision paves the way for construction to start on two new satellite concourses at the gateway and the new O’Hare Global Terminal that will replace Terminal 2.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and local, state, and federal officials marked the milestone at O’Hare after the Federal Aviation Administration completed the project’s environmental review.
“Chicago’s transportation infrastructure is what makes this city an economic powerhouse of global importance,” said Buttigieg.
“Now, as we prepare to break ground on O’Hare’s newest terminal, Chicago and this entire region will be positioned to grow and create good-paying jobs through the benefits of first-rate infrastructure, beginning with the construction project itself.”
Chicago Department of Aviation commissioner, Jamie Rhee, said: “Today’s news from the FAA gives us a clear path forward to start construction on the Terminal Area Plan which includes Satellite Concourses 1 and 2 and the O’Hare Global Terminal, the center-pieces of the capital improvement program we call O’Hare 21.
“I thank the FAA for its comprehensive review of the proposed plan as we work to completely transform the O’Hare experience for the traveler of tomorrow.”
The review analyzed Chicago Department of Aviation projects including new terminals, on-airport hotels, airfield and taxiway improvements and support facilities.
It also reviewed the FAA’s proposal to make permanent angled approaches to Runway 10R/28L to allow simultaneous arrival to multiple runways.
The FAA concluded that proposed construction projects and changes to air traffic procedures will not significantly affect any environmental resources, including noise, air quality, water resources, and historic sites.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said: “O’Hare is the lifeblood of Chicago’s economy, directly employing tens of thousands of Illinois residents and bringing more than 70 million passengers to and through our city each year.
“The next phase of work will expand O’Hare’s capacity to serve travelers and improve the customer experience, transforming it into one of the greatest airports of the 21st century.”
During his visit today, Secretary Buttigieg also met with students studying on Chicago’s Southside to become aviation maintenance technicians. During his visit at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, where American Airlines is training new technicians, the Secretary heard how students can learn the skills necessary to move into good jobs in aviation.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has made more than $73 million available to O’Hare and more than $20 million to Midway International Airport in the first year.
The law created three programs, investing $25 billion total over five years into the US aviation system.
The FAA operates three air traffic control towers at O’Hare and manages more than 700,000 annual arrivals and departures on eight runways at the airport.