New $8.5 Billion Chicago O’Hare International Airport Revamp Plan Signed

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Both United (UA) and American Airlines have shown interest for the support of the plan of Chicago O’Hare International Airport Revamp project that was brought forward by the Chicago city administration in the beginning of April that will foresee altering of the construction sequence for the establishment of a new Global Terminal and another two adjacent satellite concourses at O’Hare Airport (ORD).

At first, the plan had a priority on building the two new satellite concourses, which was set to provide an additional gate space for the airlines that will be using the airport. Moreover, Terminal 2, which had aging infrastructure was revamped into a brand new Global Terminal. However, the proposal that was brought by the city in the month of April had suggestions of advancing the construction works of the Global Terminal.

On the other hand, America United, indicated under the revised plans that the aviation department of the city could go on with building the first satellite concourse while concurrently setting plans of a phased construction that would be conducted at the Global Terminal. Just in case there would be extra funds left on the project, the aviation department would build the second satellite concourse and the tunnel that would connect the two concourses.

Funding of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport Revamp Project

Both of the airline companies are responsible for most of the construction expenses and advocated for this shift in the construction sequence in order to safeguard the brand new terminal from any potential budget overruns that may arise. The endorsement by the two airline companies shall give way for the progress on a very critical aspect of the reconstruction project of the airport, which has seen delays and extensive negotiations due to the always rising costs in construction.

“It is indeed our pleasure to note that Mayor Johnson and his aviation department have brought a proposal on a phased plan that gives priority to utilizing the funds for the project for the key aspects of the program-namely, the O’Hare Global Terminal and Satellite 1”, United mentioned in their release. Additionally, American Airlines applauded the mayor and the newly proposed plan, by stressing on its alignement with improving the competitiveness capacity of O’Hare.

Importance of the Airport Project

The redevelopment project of the airport terminal is set to serve as the focal point of one comprehensive transformation of the Chicago airport. It will also become a key element of the economy of Chicago and a pivotal node in the national air transport system of the United States of America.

The proposed overhaul plan is estimated to cost approximately $8.5 billion when the two airlines companies endorsed the project of the overhaul in the year 2018. The airport terminal project was expected to feature a grand 2.2 million-square-foot Global Terminal that will be spearheaded by a design team that will be led by architect Jeanne Gang. This upcoming airport terminal is foreseen to significantly expand on the existing Terminal 2, by providing extra gates and also enabling smoother and quicker transitions for passengers between both the domestic and international flight travels.

Unfortunately, the costs, predominantly funded via the city bonds in support of the fees at the airlines, rose, thereby leading to the Chicago O’Hare International Airport Revamp airport project to take a step back behind its outlined schedule.

At one point during last year, the airlines received a budgeted estimate cost that showed that the works that were to be done at the airport terminal alone would exceed by $1.5 billion as budgeted in the year 2018.

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