The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has broken ground on the first phase of a $1.2bn expansion of Terminal 5 at the O’Hare International Airport in the US.
The expansion of Terminal 5 is part of an $8.5bn modernisation plan announced in March 2018.
Scheduled to be completed by 2021, the expansion of the 25-year-old terminal is expected to increase the total building area by about 350,000ft².
Muller & Muller (M2) and HOK are the lead designers of new space in Terminal 5. The expansion will focus on increasing new passenger amenities, building airline lounges, and creating concessions spaces to enhance passenger journeys.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “Chicago and its airline partners are propelling the nation’s best-connected travel hub to the next level, starting with a more than $1bn infusion that will bring new gates and expanded amenities to Terminal 5.
“With the improvements we are making today, O’Hare will continue to set new records and fuel more connectivity, tourism, and economic impact for the city well into the future.”
The Terminal 5 expansion forms an important component of the O’Hare 21 programme and will increase the terminal’s capacity by 25%.
As part of the expansion, ten new gates will be added and the size of existing gates will be upgraded to allow the use of larger aircraft for international flights.
Expansion of Terminal 5, combined with later phases, is estimated to create approximately 3,500 jobs over the next decade.
The Terminal 5 project will also provide a 75% increase in space for passenger amenities and include 15 new dining and retail locations. It will also result in a 70% expansion of premium lounge space, including a new Delta Sky Club.
As part of the expansion, an expanded checkpoint with six new security lanes, along with improved immigration facilities, will also be provided.
Furthermore, the 25-year-old baggage handling system will be modernised by 2022.
Once the new gates are commissioned, Delta Air Lines will relocate to Terminal 5 from its existing location in Terminal 2 to consolidate its operations with the SkyTeam alliance partners.