COMMISSIONER'S PAGE

Welcome back to flying!

On behalf of Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) welcomes you to Chicago!

The past year and a half has been unlike any we have experienced in recent history. Despite the substantial impact of the pandemic, the air travel industry remains resilient. As restrictions relax and places reopen, Chicago’s airports are eager to help people visit loved ones they haven’t seen, transform business connections from a virtual wave to an actual handshake, and take a much-needed vacation.

The safety and security at Chicago’s two great international airports are our number one priority. We’ve worked closely with our partners at the Chicago Department of Public Health and other public agencies to exceed requirements and meet the travel needs for millions of passengers.

O’Hare and Midway Airports have seen a robust return to travel because people need to get places. With a unique geographic location, a large and diverse population, and a dynamic business community, Chicago is a top choice for leisure and business travelers. It is also a leading gateway for connecting air traffic in North America. Whether you’ve arrived at your final destination or are passing through our gates, we hope you’ll experience safe and efficient facilities with best-in-class services and amenities.

Investment in our airports is critical, and we are excited about recent milestones in our signature capital programs: O’Hare 21 and the Midway Modernization Program. At O’Hare, we are completing 16 years and more than $5.5 billion in construction investment in the O’Hare Modernization Program — totally reconfiguring and modernizing the airfield and paving the way for upcoming terminal redevelopment.

Midway International Airport has streamlined operations and reduced traveler wait times with the new 80,000-square-foot security pavilion and expanded pedestrian bridge that opened in Summer 2020. Further, new technology brings contact-free concession options — order food through GoEatMDW.com for at-gate delivery or visit the new Hudson Nonstop in Concourse B with Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” contact-free check out experience.  

These billion dollar investments in O’Hare and Midway represent the future of our airports, and an improved passenger experience for millions. As you travel through Chicago’s airports again, take some time to explore and enjoy our award-winning concessions and exciting shops throughout the terminals. Our airports are ready to once again, connect Chicago to the world and the world to Chicago.

Jamie L. Rhee
Commissioner
Chicago Department of Aviation

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