Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced recently the opening of new Runway 10R-28L and a new South Air Traffic Control Tower (SATCT) at O’Hare International Airport. Runway 10R-28L is an East-West parallel runway located on the south airfield. It will be used primarily as an arrival runway and will substantially improve O’Hare’s capacity and efficiency.
“When we invest in O’Hare’s future, we are helping Chicago continue to grow economically and compete on a global scale,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The new runway will reduce delays and increase airport capacity – a positive development for travelers and businesses who rely on O’Hare. And while O’Hare may be the busiest airport in the world, our goal is to make it the best airport in the world. With the help of this new runway and our other investments, we are on track to achieving that goal.”
“Modernizing our airfield and improving capacity at the world’s busiest airport is critical to addressing many important challenges such as reducing delays, mitigating noise and improving the customer experience,” said CDA Commissioner Ginger S. Evans. “I want to thank the Federal Aviation Administration, our airline partners and Mayor Emanuel for their commitment to seeing this project through, and their continued support of future airport improvements.”
“The new runway at O’Hare is another milestone for the airport and the entire city of Chicago,” said Alderman Michael Zalewski, Chairman of Committee on Aviation. “O’Hare elevates Chicago’s standing on the world stage, and it attracts companies to Chicago as well as jobs to our neighborhoods. This is a positive step in the right direction, but we know that there is more work ahead for the airport, our city, and its residents.”
Runway 10R-28L is the fifth East-West parallel runway at O’Hare and the fourth new runway component opened since 2008 as part of the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). The runway is 7,500 feet in length and 150 feet in width and includes a 7,500- foot-long East-West parallel taxiway (Taxiway W) immediately north of the runway and a 2,000-foot-long connecting taxiway to the south airfield (Taxiway AA). Construction on the $516 million runway and taxiway system began in spring 2011.
“As Chicago’s hometown airline, we are committed to a strong and vibrant O’Hare that can compete with leading airports throughout the world,” said Tracy Lee, vice president of network operations at United Airlines. “This runway will make O’Hare even more efficient, enhancing the travel experience for our customers and ensuring the airport remains a premier global hub.”
“On behalf of the more than 100,000 American Airlines employees worldwide and especially the 9,000 here in Chicago, I’d like to commend all those involved in the conception, development and construction of the new runway,” said Michael Minerva, Vice President Government and Airport Affairs for American Airlines. “As the largest airline in the world, Chicago is a key hub in our network and we look forward to growing here in the near future.”
The new runway will significantly improve O’Hare’s East flow arrival and departure rates in all weather conditions, which will increase throughput and reduce delays. More specifically, the benefits of Runway 10R-28L during East flow operations include :
–24 percent increase in airport arrival rates (114 flights per hour versus 92 flights per hour) during good weather (VFR) conditions.
–25 percent increase in airport departure rates (110 flights per hour versus 88 flights per hour) during good weather (VFR) conditions.
–40 percent increase in airport arrival rates (106 flights per hour versus 76 flights per hour) during poor weather (IFR) conditions.
–18 percent increase in airport departure rates (90 flights per hour versus 76 flights per hour) during poor weather (IFR) conditions.
A new $41 million FAA air traffic control tower was built to manage aircraft operations Runway 10R-28L. The new tower is 218-feet-tall (13 levels) with a 10,000 square-foot base building. It was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and includes a 10,000 square-foot vegetated green roof, a geothermal energy system, and many other sustainable features. The commissioning of Runway 10R-28L and the SATCT marks the completion of all south airfield construction on the OMP.
No state or local taxpayer dollars were used to fund these projects.