The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has awarded a total of $6.6m in funding to deliver significant upgrades to both of Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway international airports.

Announced by US Senator Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and US Representative Mike Quigley, the funding will enable the two airports to continue transporting passengers safely and efficiently.

Quigley said: "Midway and O’Hare Airports are major economic engines of our city, and as Illinois’ only member on the House Appropriations Committee, I am committed to driving back federal dollars to help them grow and prosper.

"The Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) infrastructure programme will allow O’Hare to invest much needed federal dollars to help reduce ground emissions, and Midway will finally be able to rehabilitate one of their runways, increasing productivity.

O’Hare International Airport has been awarded $2m to upgrade infrastructure through the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) infrastructure programme.

The VALE programme, which was established in 2004, works towards reducing sources of airport ground emissions while improving air quality.

VALE will enable the airport sponsors to use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) to finance low emission vehicles, refuelling and recharging stations, gate electrification, and other airport air quality improvements.

In March 2012, a three-year $7.3bn infrastructure modernisation pprogramme, Building a New Chicago, was announced by Mayor Emanuel.

As part of that programme, O’Hare airport received $1.4bn investment for upgrades as well as for opening of two new runways by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Chicago Midway International Airport received $4.6m in funding to renovate one of the five runways and install runway markings.

In September 2013, the negotiations to privatise the airport were terminated after one of the two finalists backed out.