Chicago Needs New Airport

Acting FAA administrator Robert Sturgell has claimed that Chicago, Illinois, will need either a new airport or major enlargement of its two main facilities at O’Hare and Midway if it is to satisfy the predicted rise in passenger numbers. Chicago Airport System, which runs the city’s airports, must take significant steps in this regard at the earliest opportunity, he added. In 2007 O’Hare handled 76,177,855 passengers (ACI figures) and thus retained its second position in the world table of busiest airports. The smaller Midway Airport, favoured by budget carriers such as Southwest airlines, dealt with 19,378,855 last year, a rise of 2.71% over 2006.
Meanwhile the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) continues apace and on September 25, a 3,000ft (914m) extension to Runway 10/28, the airport’s busiest, was commissioned by Mayor Richard M Daley. The project was completed 56 days ahead of schedule and came in under budget. Speaking at the opening ceremony Daley said: “Today, the City of Chicago and the O’Hare Modernization Program welcome a new era for air travellers, the airlines and the people and businesses that rely on O’Hare International Airport every day. It is an era that will see fewer delays, increased capacity and added growth for the region’s economy.”
Next up is the opening of a brand new runway – due to be commissioned on November 20, along with a new northern ATC tower. In addition a third runway project (10C/28C) is underway with paving due to commence next year.