Chicago’s City Council has approved an $8.5bn expansion plan to modernise the O’Hare International Airport in the US.
Following approval from the City Council, the City of Chicago signed an agreement with carriers United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines for airport renovations that will be carried out over the next eight years.
To finance the project, the city also approved an initial $4bn of airport revenue bonds. The O’Hare 21 terminal modernisation plan is expected to create nearly 60,000 construction jobs.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “The O’Hare transformation is a boarding pass to a brighter future for Chicago.
“We are creating tens of thousands of jobs across our city for years to come, injecting billions of dollars into our economy and positioning O’Hare as the gold standard for airports around the world. Even by the sky-high standards of a city famous for making no little plans, the O’Hare expansion is a big deal for Chicago’s future.”
Under the redevelopment programme, Terminal 2 will be demolished to develop the new O’Hare Global Terminal that will improve customs and immigration processing.
Terminals 1 and 3 will also undergo modernisation. Plans are also in place to upgrade and expand Terminal 5.
The expansion to O’Hare’s facilities will create 25% more gate capacity, as well as new security and technology and various infrastructure improvements to increase airline performance.
According to the plans, the Terminal Area Plan (TAP) will completely redevelop O’Hare’s existing terminals by 2026, with expanded gates and facilities at Terminal 5, the redevelopment of Terminal 2 into a new fully integrated O’Hare Global Terminal, and renovations and expanded concourses to Terminals 1 and 3.