Chicago, major airlines agree on terms to build new international terminal at O’Hare

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CHICAGO — The City of Chicago and major airlines have agreed on terms to begin a new addition at O’Hare International Airport.

On Friday, the airlines and the city agreed on plans to build a new international terminal that will sit between existing terminals that belong to United Airlines and American Airlines.

The addition would eliminate the need for travelers to take the airport train when connecting.

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“The City of Chicago is thrilled to announce the acceptance of its proposal by airline partners to proceed with the Terminal Area Program (TAP) to modernize Chicago O’Hare International Airport. We look forward to prioritizing the O’Hare Global Terminal to bring benefits to the traveling public sooner, while providing thousands of jobs and contracting opportunities to Chicago,” a spokesperson for Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said.

According to the agreement, construction on the new global terminal would not begin until after construction of  the new satellite terminal begins, that would create additional space for domestic flights.

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United and America now have to approve any changes to the budget or scope of the expansion project.

“We are excited to move forward on this project so our customers traveling to and from Chicago can enjoy the benefits. We look forward to collaborating with the Mayor and his aviation department on the budget, scope and design of the project so that together, we can not only deliver the modernized airport envisioned in the 2018 lease contract but also ensure O’Hare’s future financial stability and competitiveness for years to come,” a spokesperson for Chicago-based United Airlines said.

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The agreement comes after years of delays and concerns over climbing costs for the project.

The airlines have been skeptical about if the project can be completed within the initially estimated budget of $6 billion.

In a statement on Friday, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth applauded the agreement.

“After months of volleying counter-offers and facing deadlock, we are relieved that the City of Chicago and the airlines have finally come to an agreement about the future of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport Terminal Project. With both parties now in agreement, we can begin to take a major step forward on the project with a shared vision – one that allows O’Hare to not only maintain its world-class status, but to also modernize its terminals while leaving room to expand to meet the demands of travelers well into the future,” Durbin, and Duckworth said.

There is currently no word on when construction could begin.

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