May 11, 2018

Mayor Emanuel And American Airlines CEO Doug Parker Open The First New Gates At O’Hare In 25 Years

The five new gates will support enhanced performance today and marks the start of the larger $8.5 billion O’Hare terminal expansion plan

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO— Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined American Airlines CEO Doug Parker today for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of five new gates at O’Hare International Airport. The $78 million investment by American Airlines to extend Terminal 3’s L-Concourse is the first major expansion of gate capacity in 25 years and marks the first step in O'Hare's major $8.5 billion terminal expansion plan.

“Today marks a historic moment for O’Hare as we open the airport’s first new gates in 25 years,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I want to thank American Airlines for recognizing the value of this investment and look forward to working with all of our airline partners as we begin moving forward on our transformational plan that represents a watershed moment for O’Hare and Chicago’s economic future.”

The investment by American Airlines, a hub partner at O’Hare, was first announced as part of the $1.3 billion landmark infrastructure plan designed to enhance airline performance and improve the customer experience for Chicago travelers.

For the tens of thousands of travelers who depend on O’Hare each day, they can expect improved on-time performance, more space for concessions and amenities, and greater connectivity for domestic as well as international destinations served by American. Just last week American launched service to Venice, Italy and Vancouver, Canada, and announced new flights to Honolulu and islands in the Caribbean that will start this winter.

“With these new gates, we’re renewing our commitment to serving our customers in Chicago and growing our service at O’Hare,” said Doug Parker, American Airlines Chairman and CEO. “We’ve served O’Hare for more than 60 years, and we look forward to a bright future together here with our partners at the City of Chicago.”

The new gates opened this spring underscore a series of improvements set to occur over the next eight years as a result of the recently approved O’Hare terminal expansion plans by the City and its airline partners. Overall, these investments will expand gate capacity by 25 percent, enabling a significantly enhanced airline performance and passenger experience.

"We are proud to join with our partners at American Airlines to celebrate this major investment in O’Hare’s future,” said Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation. “The L-Stinger gates deliver immediate benefits for passengers flying through O’Hare with fewer delays, more space to relax and expanded services. This project also sets the stage for even more improvements to come as we expand O’Hare’s terminal capacity in the coming years.”

The 41,000 square foot L concourse, or “L stinger,” gate expansion project was completed on time, and created 300 jobs during the 20-month project.

The new gates and other capacity-growing investments announced for O’Hare are a part of Mayor Emanuel’s O’Hare 21 vision, which is currently underway, to modernize O’Hare International Airport by building more efficient, higher capacity facilities to support a modern, growing O’Hare. A significant eight-year terminal expansion and redevelopment program will complement several O’Hare 21 projects underway today, including the expansion of Terminal 5; a major expansion of on-airport hotels; construction on the new Multimodal Facility; and Runway 9C/27C, to be completed in 2020. Combined, these projects will ensure that Chicago-O’Hare will remain a top global hub and attractive destination for travelers as the industry grows and air travel demands continue to rise.