There are more than 19,000 airports and aerial landing facilities in the U.S., but only a few are as recognizable as the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Starting in Mid August, construction will begin on a brand new O’Hare runway.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the new runway will run East to West and will help reduce delays and limit jet noise. The new 9C/27C runway will be the sixth parallel runway at O’Hare. It’ll also be the second largest runway in Chicago, at 11,245 feet long and 200 feet wide.
“This project significantly increases safety and efficiency,” said Ginger Evans, Chicago’s aviation commissioner, “and dresses the impact of airport noise by balancing O’Hare’s airfield operations.”
The $1.3 billion infrastructure plan covers the runway’s cost and is expected to be open by 2020.
Chicago Sun Times reports that the runway project is costing approximately $648 million. The city plans on addressing other airport concerns once the runway project is completed, as 200 acres of land is set aside for new airport gates, terminals, and two hotels.
“When you’re done with this runway, Chicago will be the only city in the United States that added the equivalent of the capacity of a third airport,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The efficiency that was added [will be] the equivalent of Midway Airport being lifted up and moved to O’Hare.”
Noise levels around O’Hare increased after flight paths shifted in 2013.
“This is the final piece in making O’Hare one of the most efficient airfields in the nation,” said Evans. “This provides increased flexibility for east and west flow operations as well as balancing noise exposure among communities east and west of O’Hare. These are the folks who, today, are experiencing some of the most challenging noise conditions. Our airfield will be more efficient when the project is complete, and our neighbors will truly experience noise relief.”