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ardecila Mar 17, 2011 10:26 PM

Didn't T2 just receive a major renovation of its arrival/departure/security areas? Helmut Jahn's massive canopy, and the star-studded panels, are quite beautiful.

Why would American want to tear down a terminal that works fine functionally, and is not unattractive, for a brand-new one on the far side of the airport that would require a costly new underground train?

aquablue Mar 17, 2011 10:32 PM

All of O'hare's terminals are too long, narrow and lacking amenities by international standards. Chicago deserves a modern terminal design. It is hardly an attractive transfer hub for Europeans or Asians given the palaces they are used to.

ardecila Mar 18, 2011 12:46 AM

Yeah, but European and Asian countries can make money appear out of thin air to build vast, impressive pieces of infrastructure. The US doesn't have the money, which is why we need the airlines' permission - so we can milk the passengers for money.

The recent, costly renovations to T2 and T3 have made them beautiful, unified, and compatible with modern airport security procedures, extending their lifespan considerably.

The best-case scenario would be for the city to find a different funding source and begin construction on T3 without the use of ticket taxes, and then open it up to smaller airlines.

Short of that, I want the city to build a transport hub on the site of T3, without any gates. Passengers could arrive at the transport hub via train or bus, check in at a small set of counters, go through security, and then board an underground people-mover to T1, T2, T3, and T5. There would be two tunnels drilled under the airfield: one for a Blue Line extension and one for the people-move - baggage transfer could probably be tucked into one of the other two tunnels.

The airlines might be willing to fund this if the city pledged not to add gates.

aquablue Mar 18, 2011 2:55 AM

It's all priorities. The US could have the money for these things if the will was there. Unfortunately, most Americans care little for aesthetic concerns and are happy with a functional practical terminal as long as it works. At least LAX's new terminal renovation will be very nice.

The problem with the way most american terminals have been designed in the recent past is this:

The main terminal area is usually an afterthought for passengers. The building is usually too small for shopping, amenities, etc. It is just ticketing then gate. A cattle transport way of thinking. Passengers check in, then directly to a boring gate area which is usually too small to allow for much other than a few shops and gate space. The airside area needs to be larger in airports, to allow more space and prevent concourse crowding. If you look at even old Euro terminals, they are usually deep and wide to allow for departure lounges, while US terminals are usually pencil thin.

The concourses are too small and cramped overall, however there are some exceptions.

The US is lucky it isn't a small country like Thailand or Singapore vying to attract transfer passengers, because with this approach they'd never get any business at all!

Godwindaniel Mar 18, 2011 9:25 AM

Nice…chicago airport look crazy…The airport expansion is a good thing.

nomarandlee Mar 28, 2011 9:43 PM

Quote:

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/2...ews/703289987/

3/28/2011 07:23 AM

Suburbs still want western terminal at O'Hare

By Marni Pyke ..O'Hare flight information Metra service advisories Why Not the Best Web site Why Not the Best Web site Why Not the Best
A western terminal and its promise as a cash cow driving economic growth helped convince suburbs around O'Hare to drop resistance to airport expansion and join Chicago in its quest for more runways.

But now with uncertainty about the western terminal's future — when and if it will be built at all — local leaders are adjusting expectations.


“I think it will happen but we have some big obstacles,” DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin said.

After months of feuding, the city with United and American Airlines announced a deal March 14 that ends a lawsuit by the carriers and allows for construction of a runway at O'Hare International Airport's southern end.

Absent from the pact is the western terminal, estimated to cost about $2 billion. The airlines and Chicago agreed to kick other outstanding issues down the road to 2013. United and American opposed the terminal, expected to be used by smaller rival airlines.

“The western terminal complex will only be developed as demand dictates,” Chicago Department of Aviation officials said in an e-mail Friday, adding that “only the users of this facility will be responsible for its costs.”

That puts the future of a western terminal in the hands of United and American's competitors. But with the shaky economy affecting air travel, it's questionable when or if willing investors will step up.

The vision for the airport's western side included extending the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway east from its terminus in Itasca into O'Hare along with a terminal. That was anticipated to trigger development with restaurants, shops and industry rivaling towns to the east like Rosemont.

The expressway project is inching forward as state planners search for funding. Chicago would build parking and provide transport — likely buses — to existing terminals once the expressway reaches O'Hare.

Bensenville Village President Frank Soto in 2009 negotiated a $16 million deal with Chicago ending years of lawsuits hampering airport expansion.

Two years later, Soto still thinks western access is an economic engine for the area. But “whether it's a four-cylinder or an eight-cylinder depends on whether it's a parking garage or a terminal. A terminal's the best option because it creates many more opportunities,” Soto said.

Cronin agreed, noting that the economic “promise will not be realized without the terminal,” he said. “If you're talking about a roadway and a hole in the fence with a parking lot, it's not my vision.”

Historically, DuPage suburbs along with Elk Grove Village fought O'Hare expansion, which involved taking a chunk out of northeast Bensenville. But in 2003, former DuPage Chairman Robert Schillerstrom convinced his board to change course despite opposition from longtime Bensenville Village President John Geils.

Schillerstrom and Geils are no longer in office and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley will be succeeded by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel in May.

“I'm anxious to sit down with Mayor-elect Emanuel and have a frank discussion,” Cronin said.

“There's a certain amount of uncertainty because of the transition. My vision of western access must include the terminal and western access — there's no doubt about it.”

As to the possibility of the terminal dropping off the radar screen, Soto doesn't blame the city.

“It's not an issue the city of Chicago had control over,” he said. But, he'd rather see the terminal built first, before the runway.

The soft economy and high fuel prices will continue to dog the western terminal for now, aviation expert and DePaul University professor Joseph Schwieterman said.

“Skeptics forget that the expressway will likely bring much development to the communities west of O'Hare regardless of whether a new terminal is built,” he said.

“A new terminal, however, would immeasurably change things.”
...

Is there any truely redeeming value of having a Western terminal other then appeasing the original West suburban cynics who primarily just wanted to shave 5-10 minutes off their travel time getting to the airport by having a Western access terminal? Even that is shortsighted given that it isn't as if the east terminals will not supply the vast majority of flights.

Beta_Magellan Mar 29, 2011 3:28 AM

There’s a lot of ambition for the Elgin-O’Hare corridor—I think they just want the full trifecta of road, rail and air more than anything else. It’s a big infrastructure project that, when completed, could be a big selling point for the communities and the western terminal also has a lot of peripheral transportation projects associated with it. There’s probably a lot of optimistic thinking about induced demand there, though, and Schwieterman’s right that the terminal isn’t a prerequisite for growth.

I’ve heard (by ear) that the O’Hare Ring Road’s moving along, which should eventually help connect Elgin-O’Hare with the east side and maybe allay some of DuPage’s concerns about the lack of western access.

aquablue Mar 29, 2011 5:29 PM

How many pax per year can the current gates take? I guess this means that United doesn't have huge ambitions to expand O'Hare into a larger operation once they max out their terminal.

If I were United, I'd think about how a beautiful new terminal would help attract new transfer pax from other hubs. I'd look into turning the terminal into a shopping mall like European airports do. I'd use the revenue from transiting pax from shops and restaurants to basically pay back the cost of the terminal. However, United now has IAH + EWR to focus on. I think this approach works better in a country where an airline has only 1 or 2 major hubs which is a shame for us pax.

trvlr70 Mar 29, 2011 6:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5220426)
How If I were United, I'd think about how a beautiful new terminal would help attract new transfer pax from other hubs. .

No offense, but nobody at any airline would care about this.

aquablue Mar 29, 2011 7:46 PM

Actually, that's not true. I'm sure terminal experience is very important to airline's. Look at Delta at JFK. They're awful terminal has not helped them there at all, and I'm sure many people avoid delta due to their aging pile of crap.

A terminal designed with retail in mind could practically help pay for itself. A nice quality terminal is important for the airline's ability to attract premium fliers and its overall image. You may even be able to lure passengers from other hubs if the experience was far superior. It may even help draw people that otherwise would fly for with other airlines. It also would be a massive PR boost for Chicago. An airport is the first impression that potential investors get when entering from abroad. Right now, O'hare has average looking terminals. Why do you think British Airways & BAA designed such a great terminal in Heathrow. They did to retain their competitiveness against other airlines and airports in Europe and Asia, as well as boost retail sales from more shopping space that go to help pay for the terminal design. They also got a PR boost for London in the process, as people won't come into the city saying 'what a dump', how could such a great city have such a ugly airport terminal!

VivaLFuego Mar 29, 2011 8:01 PM

How often are you expecting airlines to invest in massive new flagship terminals by named star architects? Every 15-20 years? United built the excellent Terminal 1 less than 25 years ago. Maybe in another 15-20 years United would consider a brand new terminal but certainly not before then... hence the point of United fighting so hard against having a new terminal built right now.

aquablue Mar 29, 2011 8:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 5220697)
How often are you expecting airlines to invest in massive new flagship terminals by named star architects? Every 15-20 years? United built the excellent Terminal 1 less than 25 years ago. Maybe in another 15-20 years United would consider a brand new terminal but certainly not before then... hence the point of United fighting so hard against having a new terminal built right now.

Yes, I see your point. The problem is terminal 1 is lacking amenities and was not built for the post 9/11 era. There isn't enough room in there for all those things.

I don't even know if United wants to grow at O'Hare. Seems to me like Terminal 1 will be enough capacity for them for many years. I guess I spoke too soon. United should really concentrate on Dulles anyway, an abomination of a concourse.

Rail Claimore Mar 29, 2011 9:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5220711)
Yes, I see your point. The problem is terminal 1 is lacking amenities and was not built for the post 9/11 era. There isn't enough room in there for all those things.

I don't even know if United wants to grow at O'Hare. Seems to me like Terminal 1 will be enough capacity for them for many years. I guess I spoke too soon. United should really concentrate on Dulles anyway, an abomination of a concourse.

I would expect American to agree to a terminal rebuild or a completely new terminal at O'Hare before United. But American is going to have some pretty hefty financial obligations with the planned renovations at three of the original terminals at DFW.

My guess is that UA, AA, and foreign carriers will agree to the proposed eastern expansion of T5 though, and perhaps building FIS facilities into existing T1 and T3.

ardecila Mar 30, 2011 12:15 AM

^^ FIS?

Like all except the very newest terminals, O'Hare's T1 wasn't built with TSA screenings in mind. It was, however, built in an era when people had to check in in person, which generated long lines.

United can easily move the check-in counters forward, allowing for more room behind them for security. Jahn's design is an open floorplan, so the check-in counters are just glorified kiosks anyway.

SCB recently designed a small addition to T1 to accommodate security (the little wedge-shaped box in the center). It works pretty well.

http://www.scb.com/images/project/96/1.jpg
SCB

Rail Claimore Mar 30, 2011 1:25 AM

^^ FIS: Federal Inspection Services. In other words, immigration and customs.

denizen467 Mar 31, 2011 8:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5221124)
SCB recently designed a small addition to T1 to accommodate security (the little wedge-shaped box in the center). It works pretty well.

Never knew who did that, but it's been there for a couple years now. It is great to see that pockets of expansion are doable elegantly on T1, seeing as how it is simply too cramped for 21st century travel.

It looks as though there is plenty of space to do this along the roadway side of Concourse B, at its ends. They could seriously add some food, shopping, lounge, or other services, and thereby alleviate the holdroom crowding on its western side. I know it would cost money, but it would be a very simple structure and could bring in a lot of rent. Is UA's budget the only thing that would prevent this, or is there some aviation (or city) related reason regarding these quasi-blank spaces?

Concourse C is way more hemmed in, but what about a 2nd level near its ends?

nomarandlee Apr 15, 2011 1:52 AM

A new ORD express rail site now open......

Quote:

http://www.ordexpressrail.com/

O'Hare Airport Express Rail Service Launch of Website and RFI & I

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and the O'Hare Express Blue Ribbon Committee announce the launch of the O'Hare Airport Express Rail Service website (www.ordexpressrail.com) and the release of a Request for Information and Interest (RFI&I) for the development of a rapid passenger rail system connecting Chicago's Central Business District and O'Hare International Airport.

The Chicago-O'Hare Airport Express Rail Service is envisioned to provide a world-class, expedient, convenient, efficient, and reliable link between downtown Chicago and the City's global gateway - O'Hare International Airport. Chicago's Central Business District is the City's and State of Illinois' major center for business, tourism, conventions, hospitality, entertainment, cultural attractions, restaurants and shopping. This service will alleviate traffic congestion on the region's roadways and is intended to be independent of, but supplemental to, other mass transit system connections.

The website will provide the public and interested parties with information and updated progress on the development of this vital infrastructure link between the two major economic centers..........
....

ardecila Apr 15, 2011 3:27 AM

It occurred to me today that the Altenheim Subdivision could be used for an express O'Hare line. It has little-used, it's 2 tracks or more at all points, and it would get you from California and Roosevelt all the way to Franklin Park without encountering any real freight traffic. Plus, it's almost entirely grade-separated except for a few crossings in River Forest and Melrose Park (10, by my count, and some could be closed off).

From California and Roosevelt, it could either go north to the Metra yard and then east into Union/Ogilvie via the UP-W or MD tracks, or it could go south and then enter Union via the BNSF. On the O'Hare end, the exact alignment would depend on whether you're running to the existing O'Hare Transfer site or to a new station by the terminals.

The advantage of this alignment is pretty strong. You could have an intermediate station at Forest Park with a transfer to the Blue Line... such a station would also be easily accessible from the Eisenhower.

the urban politician Apr 15, 2011 6:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 5241996)
A new ORD express rail site now open......

....

Some pretty heavy hitters on the committee:

Committee

Chair - Lester Crown
Chairman, Henry Crown and Company

Rosemarie S. Andolino
Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation

John Gates
Chairman and CEO, PortaeCo

R. Eden Martin
President, The Civic Committee

Jerry Roper
CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Sam Skinner
Of Counsel, Greenberg-Trauig

Glenn Tilton
Chairman, President and CEO, UAL Corporation

Tom Villanova
President, Chicago and Cook County Building Trades Council

John Rogers
Chairman and CEO, Ariel Investments LLC

Jorge Perez
Executive Director, HACIA

Beth Doria
Executive Director, Federation of Women Contractors

Terry Peterson
Chairman, CTA
VP Governmental Affairs, Rush University Medical Center

Jorge Ramirez
President, Chicago Federation of Labor

Ty Fahner
Partner, Mayer Brown

James Bell
President and CFO, Boeing

Byron Trott
CEO, BDT Capital Partners

Rita Athas
President, World Business Chicago

ardecila Apr 15, 2011 6:18 AM

Looks like the same people that were behind Chicago 2016. Does that tell you anything?

Man, I'll feel so much better when Daley stops tilting at windmills, and Rahmbo can get down to the real work of making the city better. Rahm may not succeed, but at least he's not off in la-la land.


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