O’Hare International Airport in Chicago will have a new $1.3bn runway with the aim to reduce congestion at the airfield and avoid delays.
The announcement to build the infrastructure was made by the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, in the presence of the US Senators of Durbin and Kirk, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the representatives from United and American Airlines.
The scope of the new project includes construction of a sixth runway (Runway 9C/27C), stretching from east to west, additional de-icing pads and new taxiways.
The de-icing pads will help planes take off in the air faster, while new taxiways will enable easy movement of planes to and from gates, reported Csmonitor.com.
The project will ensure better use of the terminal capacity and the gates, eliminate secondary de-icing for departing planes, and will also improve runway safety and airfield operations.
The 11,245ft-long and 200ft-wide runway is scheduled to commissioned in 2020 and will be used by both arriving and departing flights.
The construction cost estimated for the new airport is $648.5m.
Mayor of Chicago said: "Building a strong future for Chicago depends on building a strong future for O’Hare.
"This historic agreement enhances O’Hare’s role as the economic engine of Chicago and the region. The capital plan will improve the passenger experience at O’Hare, while creating thousands of good-paying jobs for Chicagoans.
The new runway and other airfield projects will be an economic boost for Chicago, creating job opportunities for more than 5,000 people at the construction site or in professional services.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said: "This new runway is one of the final steps in realising a fully modernised and efficient O’Hare Airport.
"It is an investment in enhanced safety, both in the air and on the ground, and in a better travel experience for passengers in Chicago and across the nation."
Image: Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel announced the plans to build a sixth runway at O’ Hare. Photo: courtesy of Chicago Department of Aviation.