FAA Approves Massive O’Hare Project
An American Airlines jet is pushed back from its gate at O'Hare International Airport Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Federal officials approved construction projects for O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Following an environmental review, the Federal Aviation Administration issued its finding that there is “no significant impact” of the proposed Terminal Area Plan from the Chicago Department of Aviation, paving the way to start construction on two new satellite concourses at O’Hare International Airport.

The recently enacted federal infrastructure law has more than $73 million available to O’Hare. The project will include the demolition and replacement of the airport’s oldest terminal and the creation of on-airport hotels, airfield and taxiway improvements, and support facilities. It will also look into the use of angled runways to allow multiple take-offs at once.

“O’Hare is a powerhouse that, in-return, makes Chicago and Chicagoland a powerhouse for the American Economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in Chicago to announce the investment. “That is what we are talking about today, jobs, jobs, and jobs.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the changes would improve the airport, which in return would improve the city’s economy.

“O’Hare is the lifeblood of Chicago’s economy, directly employing tens of thousands of Illinois residents and bringing more than 70 million passengers to and through our city each year,” said Lightfoot. “The next phase of work will expand O’Hare’s capacity to serve travelers and improve the customer experience, transforming it into one of the greatest airports of the 21st century.”

O’Hare recently made No. 3 on FOX Weather’s list of airports with the most cancellations and No. 2 for most delays during winter-based flights.

The work is scheduled to begin in 2026, with a target completion date of 2030 for the construction of the O’Hare Global Terminal.

Construction of a large tunnel connecting passengers, baggage, and utilities between the O’Hare Global Terminal and the satellite concourses is anticipated to begin in 2024, with a construction completion date of 2030.

“We will be receiving additional funding to Chicago’s transportation network through the bipartisan infrastructure law,” Lightfoot said. “O’Hare airport has been honored to receive federal support from the very beginning.”