Chicago announces $1.3bn O’Hare airport expansion

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced a $1.3bn expansion of O’Hare International Airport.

The main item will be a sixth parallel runway, but it will be accompanied by a number of other projects intended to lay the foundations for O’Hare’s drive to regain the title of America’s busiest airport, which it lost to Atlanta in 1999.

The changes will increase the number of gates, modernise its terminals and install a centralised de-icing facility.

The 11,245-foot-long, 200-foot-wide runway will cost $650m and will be completed by 2020. It will be the second largest at O’Hare.

A crossfield taxiway system will be constructed to connect the north and south airfields, which will decrease taxi time for arrivals.

Mayor Emanuel said: "Building a strong future for Chicago depends on building a strong future for O’Hare. This agreement enhances O’Hare’s role as the economic engine of Chicago and the region."

Dick Durbin, the senator for Illinois, said: "If we are going to be a leader in the world economy, we need the infrastructure to support it.

"These improvements will lead to a safer, more efficient airport while solidifying O’Hare’s status as an economic engine for the region and a world class air hub."

Image: Aerial view of O’Hare International Airport (Eric Salard/Wikimedia Commons)

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