The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has concluded an environmental review for the expansion project at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, enabling construction work to begin.

The review confirmed that the Terminal Area Plan (TAP) put forward by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) would have ‘no significant impact’ on factors such as noise, air quality or water.

Construction work will now begin on two new satellite concourses and a global terminal to replace Terminal II, as well as other associated projects.

The review analysed CDA projects such as new terminals, on-airport hotels, airfield and taxiway improvements and support facilities.

It also evaluated the FAA’s proposal to implement permanent angled approaches to Runway 10R/28L to enable simultaneous arrivals to multiple runways.

The FAA review process began in 2018 and included a complex technical review of the environmental impact of the TAP .

A key component of the O’Hare 21 plan, the TAP will help maintain operational efficiency for existing and future air service and offer increased gate flexibility for all sizes of aircraft. 

It also aims to improve the passenger experience with updated facilities and amenities, as well as lower aircraft taxiing times and wait times for gates.

In addition, the TAP will allow the integration of all four O’Hare terminal facilities and improve domestic and international connections.

The plan is part of the 2018 O’Hare Airline Use and Lease Agreement, which approved more than $8.5bn of capital funding in 2018.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “Chicago’s transportation infrastructure is what makes this city an economic powerhouse of global importance.

“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.”