July 11, 2012

Mayor Emanuel and Commissioner Andolino Announce United Airlines and TSA to Make More than $40 Million in Investments at O'Hare

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino announced today that United Airlines and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will invest more than $40 million in improvements at O’Hare International Airport. These improvements will aid United’s service quality at the airport and create economic opportunity at the airport and throughout the city. An estimated 150 to 200 jobs will be created at the peak of construction on these projects.

“These critical investments will make O’Hare a more modern, competitive airport for our residents,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We continue to work to attract visitors and facilitate travel to and from Chicago, and these improvements by United will help us in this important mission.”

The first investment is the installation of new passenger loading bridges at United Express gates in ORD's Terminal 2, so customers can board regional aircraft directly from the terminal safely and comfortably. The total investment in this project will be $13 million.

Currently, customers have to walk outside to get to and from certain United Express flights. Construction on these gates started in May 2012. The first gates will be finished by mid-July and full completion (10 gates) is expected by mid-2013.

Second, United is building the first new United Club at Terminal 2 at O'Hare. The club will be 12,500-square-feet, triple the size of the existing club in the terminal. This project will be completed in Q4 of this year, and will amount to a $10 million investment.

Third, United is building a medical clinic for its employees at O'Hare. The clinic will allow employees to get specific medical attention as well as routine check-ups and emergency care. The project is expected to be completed in Q4 of 2012, at a cost of $2 million.

Finally, United and TSA are investing in improvements to the T1 Concourse B Terminal Inline baggage system at O’Hare. The project will provide operational and security upgrades to the existing baggage system. The total project cost is $19.5M with United contributing $2M and the remainder funded by TSA.

“We applaud the new and enhanced amenities and services that United Airlines is adding to O’Hare for both its passengers and its employees,” said Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). “Providing a world-class experience to our customers while focusing on safety and security have always been high priorities for the Chicago Department of Aviation. We’re pleased to work with our partner United Airlines in making the investments and upgrades necessary to achieve those goals.”

The announcement of the investment comes on the heels of United’s Tuesday announcement that five new round-trip flights that will emanate from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, extending Chicago’s accessibility and leadership in transportation.

The new flights include:

  • Chicago to Monterrey, Mexico - Daily service effective December 19, 2012 (subject to government approval)
  • Chicago to Nassau, Bahamas - Weekly (Sat.) peak-season service effective February 9, 2013 (subject to government approval)
  • Chicago to Thunder Bay, Canada - Daily service effective February 14, 2013
  • Chicago to Jackson, MS - Daily service effective November 4, 2012
  • Chicago to Anchorage, AK - Daily peak winter service (Dec 19-Jan 2), in addition to existing daily summer service.

Additionally, earlier this year United announced new daily service from Chicago to Sarasota, FL, which will start November 4, 2012. 

Overall, United offers Chicago customers nearly 600 nonstop flights each day out of O’Hare, to more than 150 destinations worldwide.