CHICAGO, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced 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).
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.
"O'Hare is a critical transportation link for our country," said Secretary LaHood. "This tower project will create jobs, spur economic development and help the airport improve efficiency for passengers."
"The historic O'Hare Modernization Project has received more federal funding than any other airport reconstruction project in history, nearly $800 million," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who fought to increase the funding set aside for airport improvement projects across the nation, including the air traffic control tower at O'Hare. "That remarkable federal investment fuels O'Hare's position as the economic engine for the region, solidifies Chicago's role as a global transportation hub and will pay dividends for our state and nation for years to come. The new state-of-the-art air traffic control tower will increase capacity, bringing more travelers to our world-class city, and will boost operations at O'Hare, improving safety while reducing delays. And, just as importantly, it means Illinoisans will have an opportunity to get back to work in good paying jobs that cannot be outsourced."
"The building of a South Air Traffic Control tower is essential for the continued modernization of O'Hare which increases our ability to compete in the global economy," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "A modernized O'Hare will generate new jobs and additional economic activity for Chicago, the region and the state. During these challenging economic times, such economic stimulus is greatly needed."
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.