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Mayor Richard M. Daley today joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to announce that the Federal Aviation Administration will fund the design and construction of a new South Air Traffic Control Tower at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, scheduled to be built as part of the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP).
“Today, we come together to mark another major step forward in securing the economic future for our city, our region and our state – the funding of a new South Air Traffic Control Tower which will allow for the commissioning of a new runway as part of our comprehensive O’Hare Modernization Program,” said Mayor Daley during a news conference.
The agreement will allow Chicago to complete the construction of the tower in time for the successful commissioning of the new runway 10R/28L, which is scheduled for completion in early 2015.
Runway 10R-28L will be a 7,500 foot Group V runway with a parallel taxiway and four high speed taxiways. It will be the southernmost runway of the six east-west oriented runways once the OMP is completed. This runway is similar to Runway 9L-27R that was commissioned by the Program in November 2008.
The South Air Traffic Control Tower will control air traffic using Runway 10R-28L. Based on a study completed by the FAA, the South Tower and its associated base building will be located approximately halfway between Runway 10C-28C and Runway 10R-28L.
The Mayor thanked the Obama Administration, Secretary LaHood, Senator Durbin and the FAA for recognizing the importance of the OMP for the city and the nation.
The FAA has committed $3.4 million for the design of the new facility, which will build on the O’Hare Modernization Program’s nationally-recognized program for “green” design and construction.
The City has already completed three major OMP infrastructure projects including O’Hare’s first new runway since 1971; a new air traffic control tower which is the first LEED certified tower in the country and an extension to O’Hare’s busiest runway.
All three projects opened on or ahead of schedule, nearly $40 million under budget and using sustainable green practices.
Modernizing O’Hare has helped to generate nearly $45 billion in economic activity and 540,000 jobs in the city, region and state.
In addition, the OMP will create up to 195,000 new jobs and add $18 billion to the region’s economy.
The press conference took place during the Airports Going Green Conference which was hosted by the City of Chicago Department of Aviation for the development, communication, and active discussion of aviation sustainability initiatives nationally and internationally.
“In Chicago, we realize that the economic future of our city is directly linked with our efforts to protect and enhance our environment. An important part of what makes Chicago a world-class city is our commitment to protect the environment,” said CDA Commissioner Rosie Andolino. “We understand that planting trees and creating open space, investing resources to remove pollution from the air and requiring green construction of buildings and civil infrastructure as part of the O’Hare Modernization Program, are smart for the environment and enhance the quality of life for all the residents of the city,” added Andolino.