Chicago O'Hare

Rendering of Chicago O’Hare’s upgraded terminals

An US$8.5 billion terminal expansion plan for Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Illinois, US, has been launched.

Enabled by a new use and lease agreement made between the city and the airlines United, American, Delta and Spirit, the scheme – known as O’Hare 21 – will modernise the airport’s terminals.

It represents the first major terminal improvement project to be carried out at the airport in more than 25 years, and it was said to be the largest capital project ever undertaken at Chicago O’Hare.

In an effort to keep pace with the airport’s increasing passenger numbers, the four existing terminals will be overhauled, including the demolition of Terminal 2 and the construction of a new O’Hare Global Terminal in its place. The O’Hare Global Terminal will feature an enlarged station that will connect to the airport’s expanded airport transit system.

It was said that the upgrades will increase the airport’s overall terminal floor space by more than 60%, from 511,000m2 to 827,000m2. Also, gate capacity is set to grow by 25% and the security screening process will be streamlined.

Work is due to start in 2019 and it has been estimated that about 60,000 construction jobs will be created over the course of the project.

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