Ground broken on O’Hare Airport’s $334m runway 9R/27L extension


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), and airline officials broke ground on the $334m runway 9R/27L extension of O’Hare International Airport.

Scheduled for completion in 2021, the runway 9R/27L extension is the final component of the ongoing $8.5bn O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), which aims to reconfigure and balance O’Hare’s airfield, thus increasing capacity, and improving efficiency.

Lightfoot said: “We are very excited to begin the final phase of the O’Hare Modernization Project as we move forward with our full vision for O’Hare airport with the $8.5 billion O’Hare 21 program.

“Chicago’s status as a global city rests on O’Hare’s ability to handle the ever increasing demand capacity, and today’s groundbreaking stands as a major milestone in ensuring a seamless experience for everyone passing through our city for years to come.”

Expected to create an additional 1,600 jobs during the construction phase, the extension of Runway 9R/27L project will add 3,000ft of length to one of what its claims to be the O’Hare’s most heavily used runways.

The work will allow the runway to handle increased operations from larger aircraft, including more long-haul departures, and continue to balance the airfield between the north and south.

US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said: “Keeping O’Hare International Airport as an engine for our local and national economy is critical.

“Extending the length of runway 9R-27L broadens O’Hare’s international reach and capacity, along with positioning the greater Chicago area to be key players in the global economy.”

Funded through a combination of federal and airline funds, the runway extension will pave the way for the next phase of airport improvements.

The OMP also involves the transformation of Terminal 2 and the integration of both domestic and international terminal operations into a single Global Terminal (OGT) and Global Concourse (OGT).

US Senator Dick Durbin said: “Today’s project, along with the rest of the O’Hare Modernization Program, will lead to a more efficient experience for passengers and airport operations while creating jobs and increased economic opportunities for the region.”

Image: An aerial view of the O’Hare International Airport terminal in Chicago, US. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Department of Aviation / Flickr.

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