Chicago preps for new runway at O’Hare

Washington DC
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The Chicago Department of Aviation is prepping to open a new 3,292m (10,800ft) runway at O’Hare International airport, the latest step in its O’Hare modernisation programme.

Runway 10C/28C will increase O’Hare’s maximum aircraft arrival and departure rates, and improve operations at the airport when it opens on 17 October, says Rosemarie Andolino, commissioner of the aviation department, in a speech on 20 September. It is the last component of the first phase of the modernisation programme.

“The $8 billion programme is transforming O’Hare into a modern parallel runway configuration,” she says. “No other major airport in the United States has built this much new runway infrastructure in the twenty-first century.”

The runway is located on the south side of the airport, between operational 10L/28R and under construction 10R/28L, which is scheduled to open in October 2015. The three parallel runways will allow air traffic to operate in an east-west configuration.

In addition to construction of 10R/28L, Chicago is building a new south control tower that is scheduled to open in 2015 under the modernisation programme. It is also building an $800 million multi-modal joint use facility including rental cars, parking and a connection to the local commuter rail system Metra that it plans to open in late 2016.

O’Hare has received a $10 million grant from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for taxiway LL, which will open in 2015, to support additional aircraft movements on the new runways, according to local reports.

The airport opened an 871m extension for a total of 3,962m to runway 10L/28R opened in 2008.