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TransitEngr Nov 6, 2005 4:21 AM


Originally Posted by Chi-town
They have, sort of... forget what it's called.

Is this what you were thinking of? I know this shows highway stuff, but airport and transit information are also provided. If you click on "home" at the top of this website you'll see the agencies that threw this together.

Chi-town Nov 6, 2005 6:56 AM

^ No there's some kind of new Illinois / NW Indiana regional development agency that was created this summer. Read about it in Crain's. And the Chicago airport authority controls Gary Airport, as well...

Chicago2020 Nov 9, 2005 11:49 PM

This may be alittle old but this is the new terminal to be built at O'Hare

Rail Claimore Nov 10, 2005 6:53 AM

^I thought that was the new Gary terminal.

spyguy Nov 10, 2005 9:44 PM

Airline Technology has that rendering for O'Hare expansion, but that's the exact same rendering that SCB did for Gary.

spyguy Nov 17, 2005 12:09 AM

That's very good. Unfortunately, these people don't get the message after losing another time and are going to just continue forever and ever. Hopefully the people affected will have had enough of this waiting on whether or not they should leave and will just sell their houses to the city and force Bensenville & Co. to give up.

the urban politician Nov 17, 2005 5:00 PM


Originally Posted by spyguy
That's very good. Unfortunately, these people don't get the message after losing another time and are going to just continue forever and ever. Hopefully the people affected will have had enough of this waiting on whether or not they should leave and will just sell their houses to the city and force Bensenville & Co. to give up.

^Eventually they'll realize how expensive this fight is getting and they'll give up

Chicago Shawn Nov 18, 2005 3:11 AM

LET THE CONTRACTS CLOSE AND THE BULLDOZERS ROLL! Fuck you Bensinville and especially you Elk Grove Village. You Loose agian, and will continue to do so. Just quit now before you guys bankrupt yourselfs with ongoing legal fees.

Chicago2020 Nov 18, 2005 3:41 AM

I wonder when the City will release some renderings of what O'Hare will look like????

spyguy Nov 21, 2005 10:41 PM

Feds pledge $337M for O'Hare expansion

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta on Monday pledged $337 million in federal funds for a planned expansion at O'Hare International Airport that is aimed at reducing flight delays at one of the nation's busiest airports.
Mineta said the money included a $300 million grant the city was seeking and another $37 million.
"American taxpayers are making a good investment," said Mineta, who was at O'Hare to sign the grants during a ceremony Monday.
The $15 billion expansion project will add a new terminal, two runways and redesign two other runways. The Federal Aviation Administration has said it will reduce delays by 68 percent if the work ends on schedule in 2013.
A hurdle to the project was removed last week when a federal judge in Chicago dismissed a lawsuit filed by two suburban towns and the owners of a cemetery who oppose the project. The ruling allows the city to resume buying properties in the path of the planned expansion.
The city has agreed it won't disturb any graves at the St. Johannes Cemetery until a federal appeals court in Washington rules on another lawsuit opponents have filed against the Federal Aviation Administration.
Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin welcomed the federal money for the project.
"The Administration knows that O'Hare is the epicenter of not only regional aviation travel, but the national and world's passenger aviation system," Durbin said in a statement.

BVictor1 Nov 21, 2005 10:54 PM


BVictor1 Nov 21, 2005 10:57 PM

Is Dallas design a fit for O'Hare?
A Texas-size plan, but on far less land

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter
Published November 21, 2005

DALLAS -- Chicago aviation officials like to point to the 31-year-old airport in Dallas as a proven model for the parallel runways envisioned at the future O'Hare International Airport.

The goal is to duplicate the success of Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, the nation's third-busiest airfield, by adding hundreds more flights each day while holding delays and cancellations to a minimum.

Among civil engineers who build airports, though, there is a truism about airfield design: "You've seen one airport, you've seen one airport."

And, indeed, a comparison of the Dallas airport against the blueprint for new runways at O'Hare suggests that Chicago's almost $15 billion plan to rebuild O'Hare by copying Dallas suffers from major flaws, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials and air-traffic controllers.

Among the differences:

- DFW, as the Texas airport is known, is almost three times the size of O'Hare.

- The weather in northern Texas where Dallas sits is mainly dry and clear, much better than the wind, rain and snow that pelt Chicago.

- The setup of terminals is different from O'Hare, O'Hare's, and DFW's air routes do not impede the airspace of Dallas' Love Field the way O'Hare's interfere with the airspace of Midway Airport.

- And although Chicago officials hope to tailor O'Hare to look like Dallas--they are awaiting word from the FAA on a $300 million federal funding request--Dallas is modernizing its 1970s-era airport design, with help from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the FAA, to cut delays and reduce the risk of runway accidents.

Dallas' redesign is being accomplished by adding perimeter taxiways to avoid taxiing airplanes in front of other planes that are set to take off.

That's not a viable option for O'Hare, even after the expansion, because the airport doesn't have room, according to the FAA.

"If you could take this airport, lift it off the ground and take it up to Chicago, match your wind and drop it on the ground, it wouldn't work," said Dallas air-traffic controller Ric Loewen from his perch in the control tower.

But that doesn't stop Rosemarie Andolino, executive director of the O'Hare Modernization Program, from entertaining audiences by placing a map of the expanded O'Hare alongside the a map of the existing DFW.

As she did before a gathering last year of the City Club of Chicago--a business group that she is scheduled to address again Monday--Andolino rotates the Dallas map 90 degrees to the east. That shifts Dallas' north-south runways to an east-to-west alignment like what is planned for six of the runways at O'Hare. Both layouts also sport two angled crosswind runways.

DFW then looks pretty similar to the O'Hare plan, which the FAA approved Sept. 30, prompting a court challenge from expansion opponents that temporarily halted construction.

The centerpiece of the overhaul planned for the Dallas airfield is a system of perimeter taxiways that loop around the runways. The FAA provided funding for the plan in August.

Planes that have landed will move swiftly along the outskirts of runways, rather than across them, to reach the terminals. The taxiways will reduce potentially dangerous runway crossings by aircraft from 1,700 a day to no more than a few hundred, airport and FAA officials said. They will also help to reduce the number of planes on the runway waiting for crossing planes to clear before they take off.

Under O'Hare's expansion plan, though, runway crossings will jump to 2,100 a day from about 100 now, according to the FAA.

"Dallas has had a number of close calls over the years, so they are doing something about it with the perimeter system," said Craig Burzych, president at the O'Hare control tower of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "Instead of being proactive by trying to reduce runway incursions, which the FAA says are the No. 1 danger at airports, Chicago's plan is like playing with fire."

The FAA said it is working with controllers and the airlines to implement safe procedures at the expanded O'Hare to deal with the increase in runway crossings. One proposal would require planes to taxi behind aircraft sitting on a runway rather than in front whenever possible.

"Perimeter taxiways are a good idea, and whenever it is possible, we should do it," said Barry Cooper, a top FAA manager who headed the team that approved O'Hare expansion. "Unfortunately, we don't have the real estate to do it at O'Hare."

Three serious near-collisions on runways in Boston, New York and Las Vegas this year prompted the National Transportation Safety Board on Nov. 15 to again press for quicker action by the FAA to reduce such dangers.

There were 326 runway incursions nationwide in fiscal 2004 and 324 in fiscal 2005, according to the FAA.

Parallel runways, as opposed to the intersecting-runway pattern at O'Hare, allow more airplanes to land each hour, especially when visibility is reduced. But if the airport footprint is not large enough to allow widely spaced parallel runways, which ensure that low-flying planes are kept safely apart, the only solution for air-traffic controllers is to slow down the rate of departing flights to avoid interference with arrivals.

The worldwide trend is to build new airports on large expanses of land to allow planes to safely touch down and take off simultaneously, even in bad weather. Large tracts of land also buffer surrounding populations from jet noise.

DFW covers 18,000 acres. O'Hare would grow from 6,789 acres to 7,222 acres under Chicago's runway-expansion plan, which depends on taking 433 acres from surrounding communities.

Denver International Airport is situated on 34,000 acres. Kansas City International Airport takes up more than 10,000 acres, with at least 7,000 additional acres available to develop. The proposed south suburban airport near Peotone in Will County would sprawl over almost 20,000 acres.

But Chicago officials point to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where four parallel runways are squeezed onto fewer than 5,000 acres, as another model for the future O'Hare.

"Size isn't everything," Andolino said. "Atlanta is smaller than O'Hare, and it will handle more flights and more passengers than O'Hare this year."

But Hartsfield is far from a top performer in the category that matters most to passengers--arriving on time. Of the nation's 33 largest airports, Atlanta ranked 28th for on-time arrivals from January through September this year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Even O'Hare, with its crisscrossing runways, did better, finishing 25th.

DFW ranked sixth with 81 percent of flights arriving on time.

Size helps.

"I don't think Boeing builds enough airplanes to create a capacity crunch at DFW," said JoEllen Casilio, FAA air-traffic control district manager for airports in the Dallas region.

More than a mile separates many of Dallas' runways, allowing simultaneous landings and takeoffs even in intense fog.

But at the expanded O'Hare, the runway separation will be so tight that flights will have to be staggered under some conditions, diminishing efficiency.

Two pairs of runways nearest to the passenger terminal complex would be only 1,200 feet apart. Air-traffic controllers must treat parallel runways that are less than 2,500 feet apart as a single runway, meaning takeoffs and landings cannot be conducted simultaneously.

Controllers in O'Hare's air-traffic tower are concerned about accidents occurring if a plane landing were to stray or be pushed by strong winds from its designated approach path. Turbulence from large planes taking off on the adjacent runway could also spell trouble.

The perimeter taxiways planned at DFW will produce a 30 percent gain in flight capacity, according to real-life simulations conducted with NASA, airline pilots and air-traffic controllers.

"It's the gift that keeps on giving. The pilots love the simplified movement of aircraft on the airfield, and the controllers especially love it," said Jim Crites, executive vice president of operations at DFW.

He said the perimeter taxiway plan will cost $280 million for the entire airport--a bargain in the world of airport capital improvements. The project will be done in phases, with construction starting next year or 2007.

"I've never heard of anything like that," said Crites, a former American Airlines executive who grew up in Glenview. "Think of that in terms of Chicago. It is going to cost well over $1 billion to build each of the new runways at O'Hare, and they aren't going to see the 30 percent capacity gain we're getting here. This is what comes from simplifying your life in air traffic."


VivaLFuego Nov 22, 2005 4:24 AM

^Interesting article...

I hope this isnt a $15 billion boondoggle that somehow makes things (even) worse.

BVictor1 Nov 22, 2005 9:43 PM

City lands $337 million from U.S. for O'Hare
Mineta says runway expansion is key to transportation

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter
Published November 22, 2005

Hoping to end "headaches and heartaches" among air travelers delayed in Chicago, the Bush administration approved a $337 million down payment Monday to build new runways at O'Hare International Airport.

The approval, announced at O'Hare by U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, exceeded Chicago's request for $300 million in federal airport improvement funds for the first phase of airfield expansion.

But the federal government will stagger delivery of the money over 15 years instead of the 10 years sought by the city. That will result in annual payments of $20 million rather than $30 million, possibly requiring the city to sell more bonds to finance construction.

The letter of intent Mineta signed with Mayor Richard M. Daley in the basement of the United Airlines terminal also included a separate commitment of $37.2 million that will be paid to the city over the next five years.

"O'Hare must expand in order to keep ahead of the growing demand for air travel," Mineta said. "If it doesn't, our entire national aviation system suffers. And, frankly, that is not going to happen on my watch."

The Federal Aviation Administration approved the city's O'Hare Modernization Program on Sept. 30. But it later rejected Chicago's benefit-cost analysis as flawed. To qualify for federal money, airports are required to demonstrate that the benefits of a project exceed the costs.

The FAA pointed to "misleading" information provided by the city that "inappropriately suggests ... sufficient evidence to justify the proposed project," according to FAA documents obtained by the Tribune.

The FAA, eager to move ahead on O'Hare expansion, hired a consultant to re-do the benefit-cost analysis after the agency concluded, "The benefits estimated under the [city's] approach are artificial and would never have been realized."

In the new analysis, the FAA concluded that the city's financial plan to pay for the first phase of O'Hare expansion is "realistic, reasonable and credible."

Officials of American Airlines and United Airlines, which signed agreements with Chicago to back airport revenue bonds with landing fees and other payments to the city, applauded the federal funding decision. But the airlines have so far agreed only to the first half of the massive airport overhaul.

O'Hare handles about 2,850 flights daily. Chicago's plan to reconfigure intersecting runways into a parallel-runway design will allow about 500 additional flights each day by the end of the decade, Mineta said.

The FAA says the expanded airport could safely accommodate 1.2 million flights annually with a reasonably low level of delays.

O'Hare handled 992,471 flights in 2004, when it scored the worst on-time flight performance of the largest U.S. airports, "causing headaches and heartaches for countless travelers nationwide," Mineta said.

But the FAA cautioned that severe flight delays could return to O'Hare shortly after construction is completed, or when activity reaches 1.4 million flights annually.

Daley smiled broadly as he watched Mineta sign the funding agreement before picking up a pen himself. The mayor noted that O'Hare has not added a runway in more than 30 years.

"A modern, efficient O'Hare Airport will be welcomed not just by residents of the Chicago area, but also by a man in Toledo who needs to get to L.A., a woman in Des Moines with business interests in London," Daley said. "The whole nation benefits. People get to spend more time doing what they want to do."

The anticipated total federal funding is $677 million over the life of the runway project. That accounts for about 9 percent of the $7.52 billion (based on 2004 dollars) the city currently estimates it will cost to reconfigure O'Hare's runways.

About 59 percent of the money would come from general airport revenue bonds sold by the city; 22 percent from passenger ticket taxes; and 10 percent from third-party financing.

Capital improvements necessary to make the airfield project work, plus new terminals, would bring the total cost to almost $15 billion, according to the city.

However, the $15 billion price tag does not include building a planned western-access roadway into O'Hare; expanding surrounding expressways, toll roads and major arterial streets; or building up mass-transit rail lines to accommodate the expected surge in passengers. Those airport-related improvements would cost about $4 billion, according to estimates by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Opponents of O'Hare expansion said they expected the federal funding approval. The decision, they said, opens the door to challenge in court the FAA's benefit-cost analysis that triggered the funding approval.

"This project is just bad, and it shouldn't go forward," said Bensenville Mayor John Geils. "With the funding now official, we finally get to try this case on the merits in court."

The funding approval came less than a week after a federal judge in Chicago tossed out a case brought by O'Hare opponents seeking to prevent the city from acquiring a religious cemetery and more than 400 acres in Bensenville and Elk Grove Village for expansion. A separate appeal is still pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.


Rail Claimore Nov 22, 2005 11:56 PM

This expansion of O'hare is necessary, while at the same time, not ideal. Basically, what O'hare is doing is maximizing the potential capacity in its immediate surrounding area by buying up all the land between the Northwest Tollway, Tri-state, and two major railraod corridors. The only way O'hare can expand capacity in the long term after this is through using bigger planes, something most US airports don't do compared to those in Europe and Asia. Heathrow and Haneda are able to handle passenger volumes that rival O'hare on only two parallel runways because mostly jumbo jets land at those two airports.

Atlanta is a good model to follow for O'hare, but there's another key difference between the two: Hartsfield-Jackson is surrounded almost exclusively by industry and distribution warehouses, in addition to poor communities who don't easily put up fights in court over proposed expansions. Atlanta is building a 5th runway right now so it can do simultaneous landings for 3 commercial aircraft at once.

O'hare will be able to do that after this expansion as well, but given the placement of terminals that are being built with its expansion, taxi times will increase as planes have to taxi a mile and cross up to three other runways just to reach the terminal complex. O'hare could mitigate this problem by maximizing the use of cargo aircraft on the outer-most runways and passenger aircraft using the runways adjacent to the terminals. Atlanta will not have to worry about this as much since its South Terminal complex is being built between the current southern-most operational runway and the one under construction now.

After this adventure, O'hare is done when it comes to major capital expansion projects. This will probably increase O'hare's passenger load to a maximum of 100 million unless bigger planes start being used or new ATC technology leads to increased capacity, both of which are feasible possibilities.

If Chicago is to build another airport, the logical choice would be Gary. However, if they want to build Gary to anything near what O'hare is, they will be required to take a LOT of land around the area and move a bunch of infrastructure. It would also require a totally new runway layout as well that would not interfere with O'hare. Midway's layout will screw up any new airport unless Midway itself is torn down. The Peotone idea does have its merits in that an airport the size of DFW could be built there, but the negatives far outweigh the positives of any airport being built there.

Chicago103 Nov 22, 2005 11:58 PM


Originally Posted by Rail Claimore
Midway's layout will screw up any new airport unless Midway itself is torn down.

Are you saying that if a new airport is built its inevitable that Midway will be shut down?

Rail Claimore Nov 23, 2005 12:02 AM


Originally Posted by Chicago103

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore
Midway's layout will screw up any new airport unless Midway itself is torn down.

Are you saying that if a new airport is built its inevitble that Midway will be shut down?

No, I'm saying that any new airport that is built will have to take Midway's flight paths into consideration because of Midway's runway layout. A new airport at Gary would probably be built with east-to-west parallel runways as well, posing no effect to O'hare after expansion. Major adjustments will have to be made to the flight patterns around Midway though, as screwed up as they are now.

Peotone might be far enough away that it Midway will have no effect on it, but that's iffy.

Chicago103 Nov 23, 2005 8:10 PM

O'Hare-Midway-Gary is the logical setup to me, the first two having CTA rapid transit access (an soon to be express service via Block 37) and Gary that will be accessible via METRA. I am not sure exactly how big they intend a third airport to be but I imagine Gary could handle at least as many passengers as Midway if it is done correctly.

BVictor1 Nov 23, 2005 9:11 PM

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mayor's Press Office
Phone: 312-744-3334
Monday, November 21, 2005

Mayor Daley Accepts $300 Million Federal Grant for O'Hare Modernization

Mayor Richard M. Daley today thanked Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta for granting the City’s request of $300 million in federal discretionary funds to help finance the O’Hare Modernization Program.

“The Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation and 14 other state and federal agencies have now approved every facet of the O’Hare Modernization Program,” Daley said at an airport ceremony. “They’ve approved it from the standpoint of safety, efficiency, costs, benefits and the environment.

“And by making this substantial financial investment, the federal government is stating loudly and clearly that the O’Hare Modernization Program is vitally important to the nation’s aviation system.”

The Mayor added: “O’Hare is the heart of the nation’s air transportation system and a vital part of our national economy -- an economy that depends on getting people and products to their destinations as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

“If the U.S. intends to retain its world economic leadership – and we do – then we have to make sure that our transportation infrastructure is up to date. And that starts with O’Hare International Airport – because it’s the aviation center not just of the nation, but of the entire Northern Hemisphere. And it hasn’t added a runway for more than 30 years, while the amount of air travel in this nation has doubled.”

The program calls for reconfiguring O'Hare's outdated intersecting runway system into a modern, parallel runway configuration, substantially reducing delays and increasing capacity. No state or local tax dollars will be used to fund the OMP, which is expected to cost $6.6 billion in 2001 dollars.

The project is expected to create between 50,000 and 195,000 jobs on top of the 450,000 jobs currently supported by the City’s airport system. It will generate up to $18 billion a year in economic

“A modern, efficient O’Hare airport will be welcomed not just by residents of the Chicago area, but also by the man in Toledo who needs to get to Los Angeles and the woman in Des Moines with business interests in London,” Daley said. “The whole nation benefits when there are more flights and fewer delays at its major connecting airport. People get to spend more time doing what they want to do – running their businesses or being with their families – and less time sitting in airplanes and airports.”

Daley thanked Mineta, Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and the members of the Illinois congressional delegation; Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the members of the Illinois General Assembly; the members of the Chicago City Council and its Aviation Committee; and United, American and the other O’Hare airlines that made a commitment to help fund this project two years ago.

Rail Claimore Nov 24, 2005 1:37 AM


Originally Posted by Chicago103
O'Hare-Midway-Gary is the logical setup to me, the first two having CTA rapid transit access (an soon to be express service via Block 37) and Gary that will be accessible via METRA. I am not sure exactly how big they intend a third airport to be but I imagine Gary could handle at least as many passengers as Midway if it is done correctly.

The intial role of Gary would be as Chicago's third airport, maximizing the use of its current space. That should bring it to around the same capacity as Midway is now. Gary could play a role as Chicago's second big hub/international airport in the longterm if it's expanded to cover much of the industrial area that surrounds it today.

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