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Multibillion-dollar O’Hare Airport terminal construction gets the go-ahead

FAA Logo:  O’Hare Airport's new terminals

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced at the end of the year that construction can now start on new terminals at O’Hare International Airport. Secretary Buttigieg and local, state and federal officials marked the milestone at O’Hare after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed the project’s environmental review. 

Chicago’s transportation infrastructure is what makes this city an economic powerhouse of global importance. Now, as we prepare to break ground on O’Hare’s newest terminal, Chicago and this entire region will be positioned to grow and create good-paying jobs through the benefits of first-rate infrastructure, beginning with the construction project itself.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

The review analyzed Chicago Department of Aviation projects including new terminals, on-airport hotels, airfield and taxiway improvements and support facilities. It also reviewed the FAA’s proposal to make permanent angled approaches to Runway 10R/28L to allow simultaneous arrival to multiple runways. The FAA concluded that proposed construction projects and changes to air traffic procedures will not significantly affect any environmental resources, including noise, air quality, water resources, and historic sites.  

Secretary Buttigieg also met with students studying on Chicago’s Southside to become aviation maintenance technicians. During his visit at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, where American Airlines is training new technicians, the Secretary heard how students can learn the skills necessary to move into good jobs in aviation.  
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has made more than $73 million available to O’Hare and more than $20 million to Midway International Airport in the first year. The law created three programs, investing $25 billion total over five years into the U.S. aviation system. 

The FAA operates three air traffic control towers at O’Hare and manages more than 700,000 annual arrivals and departures on eight runways at the airport. Find information about nationwide air traffic, airports, aircraft, pilots, and other industry data in the new interactive FAA Fact Book.

The Final Environmental Assessment, the Final General Conformity Determination, and other details about the projects can be found on FAA. A project summary is also available on Chicago’s Journal & Topics.