Funding Committed For New O’Hare South Air Traffic Control Tower


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Funding Committed For New O’Hare South Air Traffic Control Tower

By Bill Goldston

November 16, 2010 - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration will fund the design and construction of a new South Air Traffic Control Tower at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, scheduled to be built as part of the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). 

The agreement will allow Chicago to complete the construction of the tower in time for the successful commissioning of the new runway 10R/28L, which is scheduled for completion in early 2015.  "O'Hare is a critical transportation link for our country," said Secretary LaHood. "This tower project will create jobs, spur economic development and help the airport improve efficiency for passengers."

“The historic O’Hare Modernization Project has received more federal funding than any other airport reconstruction project in history, nearly $800 million,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who fought to increase the funding set aside for airport improvement projects across the nation, including the air traffic control tower at O’Hare.   


“That remarkable federal investment fuels O’Hare’s position as the economic engine for the region, solidifies Chicago’s role as a global transportation hub and will pay dividends for our state and nation for years to come. The new state-of-the-art air traffic control tower will increase capacity, bringing more travelers to our world-class city, and will boost operations at O’Hare, improving safety while reducing delays.  And, just as importantly, it means Illinoisans will have an opportunity to get back to work in good paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.”   

“The building of a South Air Traffic Control tower is essential for the continued modernization of O’Hare which increases our ability to compete in the global economy,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley. “A modernized O'Hare will generate new jobs and additional economic activity for Chicago, the region and the state.  During these challenging economic times, such economic stimulus is greatly needed.”  

The FAA has committed $3.4 million for the design of the new facility, which will build on the O’Hare Modernization Program’s nationally-recognized program for “green” design and construction. Chicago O'Hare International Airport (IATA: ORD, ICAO: KORD, FAA LID: ORD), also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, 17 miles (27 km) northwest of the Chicago Loop.

It serves as the primary and largest hub for United Airlines. Following United's merger with Continental Airlines, O'Hare will become the second largest hub for United after Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. O'Hare is also a hub for American Airlines. It is operated by the City of Chicago Department of Aviation, associated with an umbrella regional authority. 

In 2008, the airport had 881,566 aircraft operations, an average of 2,409 per day (64% scheduled commercial, 33% air taxi, 3% general aviation and <1% military). Prior to 2005, O'Hare was the world's busiest airport in terms of takeoffs and landings. Mainly due to limits imposed by the federal government to reduce flight delays at O'Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport became the busiest by that metric in 2005.  

O'Hare currently accounts for over a sixth of the nation's total flight cancellations even after the limitations. O'Hare International Airport is the third busiest airport in the world with 64,397,782 passengers passing through the airport in 2009, a −9.07% change from 2008. 

It is the world's second busiest airport in terms of aircraft movements. O'Hare has a strong international presence, with flights to more than 60 foreign destinations. O'Hare is the fourth busiest international gateway in the United States with only John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, Los Angeles International Airport and Miami International Airport serving more international passengers.

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