Inside Chicago O’Hare Airport’s $ 8.5 billion renovation

(CNN) – The city of Chicago has one of the best aviation systems in the world.

Before the Jet Age until the late 1950s, Chicago Midway Airport, in the southwest of the city, was the busiest airport in the world by passenger cars.

Its runways were too short for the first airlines, and in just two years all the planes moved to O’Hare, in the northwest, where the new and later runways were rebuilt.

The move took O’Hare to the world’s largest airport in 1962, a title it held for 25 years. the airport.

Punished by the city’s poor condition, the airstrip was not secure.

When O’Hare lost the crown of the world’s best airport – at Atlanta’s Hartsfield -Jackson in 1998 – he was notorious for being overcrowded and missing most of the airport. processes, often low for the convenience of customers.

The only way forward is the radical modernization of the runway system, which began in 2005 and cost $ 6 billion. Work will be completed in 2021, significantly reducing delays and paving the way for a complete overhaul of the rest of the airport – with a $ 8.5 billion investment – to replace it. ” from the side to the gate, “said the city (or ascend. return to those positions).

There are eight routes

Today, O’Hare has eight runways – six parallel and two diagonal. Previously, there were three similar routes that were interlocking with each other, an arrangement that increased the risk of aircraft collision and could be affected by weather conditions.

“We now have the largest civil aviation industry in the world,” said Robert Hoxie, chief development officer at the Chicago Department of Aviation. “We’ve reduced delays by 65%- that’s tens of thousands of planes that are operating on time but not in use.”

It was a long process, but by 2015 things had improved so much to move to the new buildings. American Airlines and United, two hubs in O’Hare, approached the city to discuss the major improvements.

“The first parking lots were built in the mid -1950s,” Hoxie said, “They were more than 60 years old and they didn’t have the amenities that motorists wanted, nor the amenities that the planes need to work properly… connection hub. “

The translation of the nature of the new Y -shaped building.

The translation of the nature of the new Y -shaped building.

Chicago Airport

In 2019, the idea joined O’Hare 21, a radical initiative to redesign the airport and prepare it for the 21st century.

Major ticket holders include a state -of -the -art “earth” center, two new satellite units for Terminal 1, and a complete overhaul of the existing Terminal 5 – but the platform is now over 100 separate platforms, more a lot of small things but making improvements. such as improving motor vehicles, new water sources and transportation systems, and rehabilitating subway walkways.

The lion’s share of the investments will go to changing terminals, changing the traffic experience in O’Hare.

It’s a long -term plan – the works won’t be completed until 2028 in the first place – but as the route is rebuilt, it will be delivered with success, improving the aircraft segment every year. this piece. Some areas of the new Terminal 5, which is being renovated, have been opened to the public.

It’s a Chicago symbol

“We are spending more than a billion dollars to renovate Terminal 5, increasing its ability to modernize its systems,” Hoxie said. The box will no longer be viewed on international airlines but on carriers moving only to and from Chicago, with low -cost carriers like Spirit. Delta will also move here after the fall.

The addition will include 10 new gates, a new cargo system and new security checkpoints.

Work began in March 2020, when the world was ready for the outbreak of the coronavirus: “The disease hasn’t helped our industry, but having a small center has made it possible. we can do better and faster than we think you can, “Hoxie said.

A much larger investment, $ 2.2 billion, will go into a new center dedicated to global transportation, stepping up to Terminal 2 which will soon be demolished – the oldest building ever used today. day.

Currently, O’Hare has a single global airport that is separate from the airport, so passengers have to change when it comes to flights.

“At the new Terminal 2, called O’Hare Global Terminal, passengers can clear U.S. Customs, return to the airport and are only minutes away from their departure gate – with not having to take the train to another center. bag on the other side of the airport, “Hoxie said.

The design of the new building is the result of a competition won by Chicago’s Studio ORD, and sponsored by an urban artist, the Municipal Device. A circled Y sign shows the north and south branches of the Chicago River joining together, and can be found throughout the city on buildings, fences, light poles and bridges.

Likewise, the new store is similar to the Y, with six glass mirrors arranged at the meeting of the branches. The ceiling will be dressed in wood, with pleats pointed to enhance natural light.

What the new Terminal 5 will look like.

What the new Terminal 5 will look like.

Chicago Airport

At 2.2 million square feet, the Global Terminal is 75% larger than the current Terminal 2, and is one of the largest in the US. It is the room for many amenities such as dining rooms, yoga studios, and a variety of food and beverage options.

He thinks it will be better for airplanes, thanks to a new cargo system that boasts separate storage for 5,000 bags, and simpler gates – it can handle both spacecraft and then re -arrange for the smaller ones.

Previously, the lack of such facilities meant that over the years, O’Hare’s 189 base gates had been reduced to 184, while the average wing rate of aircraft had been increased in order to maintain it. to the wood.

When the entire project is completed, the volume will increase by 25%, and the total square footage of car parks will range from about five million feet today to less than nine million feet. square.

Work will not begin on the new Global Terminal, and the two new satellite companies, for many years, however: a set of regulatory and environmental audits will need to be cleaned first, and then they will need to be built. airports than what they do now. used in Terminal 2 can be dismantled and disassembled.

In the meantime, work will continue on the renovation of Terminal 5, which will be completed by the end of 2023.

It’s always been irreplaceable, with motorists and builders sitting together: “I think the best comparison is if you’ve done a renovation program on your home – you know what “Sometimes, when you’re tidying up. Your kitchen, you’ll find yourself washing your dinner in your bathroom,” Hoxie said. “It’s hard to build. It’s very hard.”

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.