Terminal 5 at O’Hare International Airport Named ‘Public Project of the Year’ by Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA)

February 14, 2023


The renovation and expansion of Terminal 5 at O’Hare International Airport was named the 2022 Public Project of the Year at the 43rd Annual Awards Banquet of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA), Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced this evening. 

"The O'Hare Terminal 5 project best exemplifies the City's commitment to providing and expanding opportunities to residents from underrepresented backgrounds," said Mayor Lightfoot. "I am proud to see this transformative project, not only impact the trajectory of our city, but the lives of those who can now access the aviation industry. I thank HACIA for recognizing this accomplishment and for continuing their mission to advance equity in the field of construction." 

The four-year investment into the state-of-the-art terminal, which was formally opened by Mayor Lightfoot last month, was recognized for its unique contributions to diversity and inclusion, particularly its focus on capacity building among Brown and Black businesses. The Terminal 5 development was led by Austin Power Partners, and through December, the construction project achieved a minority-owned participation rate of 30% and a women-owned participation rate of 7%. 

 “Under the leadership of Mayor Lightfoot, and in partnership with great organizations like HACIA, the CDA is proud to continue to put diversity and inclusion at the center of all of our work,” said CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee. “As we prepare to invest billions of dollars in upgrades to our core terminals through O’Hare 21, our focus will be on both what we are building, and who is doing the building.” 

“We are proud to honor and recognize industry partners that take diversity and inclusion seriously,” said Jacqueline Gomez, executive director of HACIA. “The CDA and its project team at Terminal 5, Austin Power Partners, are a wonderful example of out-of-the-box thinking, and we need more advocates for equity like them in the construction industry.” 

The Terminal 5 project increased the terminal’s gate capacity by 25% to improve efficiency and reduce delays. Passenger amenity space was increased by 75%, and the existing building was expanded by approximately 350,000 square feet, with additional renovations to 750,000 square feet of the existing structure. The firms HOK and Muller & Muller Ltd. led the light-filled redesign of the facilities, maintaining the integrity of the terminal’s original 1993 design while modernizing it for the 21st century. The vaulted ceilings welcome natural light and offer views across the airfield toward the Chicago skyline. 

Ten renovated gates opened in the western wing of Terminal 5 in October 2022 as the new home for Delta Air Lines, which shifted operations from the carrier's long­time home in Terminal 2. Delta's move also included the construction of a new Delta Sky Club, located between Gates M11 and M14, with more than four times the capacity of its former club in Terminal 2. Chicago’s Sky Club is also Delta’s first to feature boarding on select flights from two gates inside the lounge. 

The expanded and renovated areas of Terminal 5 will also be home to a wide array of new concessions. In May 2022, City Council approved the largest set of concessions agreements at O'Hare in more than a decade, including several local offerings such as Butcher and the Burger, Hampton Social, Bar Siena, and Sparrow Coffee, as well as national favorites like Chick-fil-a and Protein Bar & Kitchen. These agreements will achieve an Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE) participation rate of 40%, exceeding the CDA's goal of 32% and the nationwide goal of 10% set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The new concessions are expected to open in phases throughout 2023. Overall concessions in Terminal 5 currently achieve an ACDBE participation rate of 44.8%, up from 33.5% at the project’s start in 2019. 

In June 2022, crews also broke ground on a new, six-story parking garage at Terminal 5 to replace the current surface Parking Lot D. When completed in 2024, the new garage will more than double the amount of available parking at the terminal and expand capacity to offer a mix of short- and long-term parking options, like those available at the airport's main terminals. 

The Terminal 5 Garage project is led by joint venture AECOM Hunt Clayco Bowa as Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) and supported by 60 participating contractors, including 14 minority-owned firms and 14 women-owned firms. 

The award is one of several accolades for O’Hare, which was recently named Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association “Contractor of the Year” and also earned an "Engineering Excellence Award” from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois for special projects. These honors are in addition to being named the “Best Airport in North America” for 19 years running by the travel-savvy readers of Global Traveler magazine

The work at Terminal 5 is part of the broader O’Hare 21 capital improvement, Chicago’s vision of a curb-to-gate transformation of O’Hare’s terminal complex into a modern, efficient global hub to serve the needs of the traveling public through the 21st century. Learn more about plans and opportunities at Chicago’s airports at ORD21.com


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