On behalf of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), welcome to Chicago. As any Chicagoan will tell you, the windy winters and cold springs are all tolerable because nothing beats a Chicago Summer! We hope you enjoy your visit and have an opportunity to experience some of what makes Chicago a world-class destination.
From the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan to the neighborhood street festivals, and from eating a world-famous Chicago dog at a baseball game to eating al fresco at one of Chicago’s legendary restaurants, we’re sure you’ll agree that there are infinite reasons to visit Chicago. And likewise, the Department of Aviation is continually providing travelers with new reasons to fly to and from O’Hare and Midway International Airports.
Together with our airline partners, we are engaged in capital programs to ensure that Midway and O’Hare remain modern, safe, accessible and comfortable.
At O’Hare, we are in the throes of O’Hare 21—a vision by the City and Chicago’s airline partners to upgrade O’Hare and dramatically elevate the travel experience with new amenities and innovations for customers. We also recently broke ground on an expansion at our current international terminal, Terminal 5, where we’re investing $1.2 billion dollars to not only add 10 new gates, but to double passenger amenities, airline lounges, and concessions spaces.
As we move forward with our exciting O’Hare 21 program, we want to know what you want to see at our airport. I hope you will give us your thoughts on amenities via our public feedback survey, available now at www.ORD21.com!
We are also modernizing and expanding the Airport Transit System (ATS)—known as the people mover. It will feature larger, more modern cars, providing a faster and more reliable journey to and from Remote Parking at our new state-of-the-art Multi-modal Facility and all of O’Hare’s passenger terminals in nine minutes or less.
The existing ATS closed in January to facilitate the completion of this modernization project and work is currently underway. We eagerly anticipate the grand re-opening this fall! While the ATS is closed, we encourage travelers to consider taking the CTA Blue Line to and from O’Hare.
At Midway, a nearly $400 million modernization program is underway that will double existing concessions offerings with a focus on popular local brands that bring a taste of Chicago to the terminal. Recently opened Midway concessions include the famed toy store FAO Schwarz, the only location of this iconic brand in Chicago, and DeCOLORES, a local Mexican favorite that puts a modern spin on traditional family recipes. In addition, new security checkpoints will allow for faster screening and will open in 2020.
If you need any other excuse to fly through Chicago’s dynamic airports, consider our ever-evolving portfolio of air service destinations! Chicago is one of the busiest cities in the world for air travel and we are also one of the most connected, with several new international destinations launching this year—including TAP Air Portugal service to Lisbon and American Airlines service to Athens. This incredible connectivity truly brings Chicago to the world and the world to Chicago.
Whatever part of the world you are from, we are so glad you are here and we hope you enjoy all of the fantastic amenities our airports and our City have to offer. Enjoy the summer sun!
Jamie L. Rhee
Chicago Department of Aviation