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trvlr70 Jan 5, 2007 9:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2548320)
what the.....

United to start Springfield-Washington flights
Service will be subsidized if demand not high enough(AP) — United Airlines will offer service between the Illinois capital and the nation's capital under a deal that could require taxpayer subsidies.

The United Express flights between Springfield and Washington are to start April 27. If there is enough demand for United to make money, it will cost taxpayers nothing.

But officials have agreed to pay up to $1.4 million in tax and business money to support the flights if necessary.
"It's going to take strong community support. It's a large commitment from the community that you usually don't see," said Frank Vala, chairman of the Springfield Airport Authority.

The Airport Authority has pledged up to $800,000, and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce promises $200,000. A federal grant of $390,000 would cover the rest.

Despite the strings attached to the venture, supporters said providing direct flights to Washington is worth it.

"We now have a niche that no other Central Illinois airport has," said Gary Plummer, chamber of commerce president and CEO.

Ticket costs have not been determined. While the airport is gaining service to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, one of its five existing United Express flights to Chicago will be cut.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Isn't the St Louis airport like 90 minutes away anyway?

It makes sense that the capital of our nation's fifth most populous state has a direct flight to D.C.....but, I bet it won't last long. The ones who make that route are in private planes.

nomarandlee Jan 7, 2007 5:13 AM

from wiki....


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SkyValue

On January 4, 2007, SkyValue USA announced that their service from Gary was such a success that their schedule will become year-round. Also, the same announcement indicated that additional routes are to be expected soon.

bnk Jan 11, 2007 2:11 AM

:previous:

I am wondering if this cost overrun will be concidered a check against the 2016 olympic bid.:shrug:

I hope not.

Chicago Shawn Jan 18, 2007 12:45 AM

"The costs are spiraling out of control and the airlines say they won't pay for it anymore," said Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson.

"It's finally time that people say we have made a mistake. Let's go for a viable modernization of O'Hare that is affordable, effective and does not destroy communities around the airport."

Attorneys for the O'Hare opponents filed a motion Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., challenging FAA funding for the expansion. Citing the airlines' rejection of more bonding by Chicago, the motion rebuts the city's statements to the court that it can make up any shortfall in federally approved funding by simply issuing more bonds.




This guy has major diarrhea of the mouth, it just doesn't stop. Just shut the fuck up Craig, you and your band of Chicago foes are the cause of the delays and cost overruns. You are making this cost more than it has to, and even with the cost increase, its still cheaper than your half-baked Peotone plan, and the O'Hare project still will use no tax dollars.

Destroy communities? I guess that targeted plot of 14 acres of Elk Grove Industrial Park must be sitting over an oil well or a gold mine. I bet you won't complain about all the revenue from new Hotels and commercial buildings that will spring up along the new western access highway. Time to jump off the hyperbole train Craig, you already missed the stop at exaggeration station.

honte Jan 18, 2007 4:21 AM

^ Ha!

MayorOfChicago Jan 18, 2007 7:33 PM

^ That's hilarious! Exaggeration station.

It's so true though. I feel bad for these people in those two towns, but there are over 9 million people in Chicagoland, and millions more who use O'hare as a layover. Sometimes you just have to realize that you and your neighbors are getting some major inconvinences in life - but at the greater good of all the people in the region. Life is life, no one is doing it to you on purpose. They act like the city has just been waiting for a reason to go "destroy" their communities.

nomarandlee Jan 20, 2007 1:04 AM

From OMP website......


http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/w...inCategoryOID=


December 2006 Construction Update

Five years after the June 29, 2001 announcement by Mayor Richard M. Daley of his bold vision to build a 21st century airport at O’Hare, the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) has received federal approval, funding is in place, and construction is ongoing on both the North and South Airfields.


2006 marked the first full year of construction for the OMP. By year’s end contractors moved nearly 3.7 million cubic yards of dirt, placed more than 5,200 linear feet of concrete box culverts to relocate a creek and poured 41,000 square yards of concrete for taxiways on the South Airfield.


13 construction projects, worth a total of $559 million, have been awarded on the North and South Airfields thus far. In 2007, the OMP will advertise up to another $1 billion in additional construction work.



Construction



Site preparation continues for all three OMP Phase 1 runway projects- new Runway 9L-27R, the extension of Runway 10L-28R and the relocation of Runway 10C-28C. New Runway 9L-27R and the extension of Runway 10L-28R are scheduled for completion in November 2008. In 2006, the OMP welcomed Federal Aviation Administrator Marion C. Blakey and Maria Cino, US Deputy Secretary of Transportation, as each visited Chicago and toured the OMP’s construction progress.


On November 27, 2006, the OMP broke ground on a new North Air Traffic Control Tower, as construction crews began drilling concrete caissons for the foundation of the tower. When complete, the NATCT will stand at an overall height of 255 feet.




“Construction on this project, as well as for the entire OMP, will continue throughout the winter as weather conditions permit,” said Rosemarie S. Andolino, OMP Executive Director. Walsh Construction Co. is the construction contractor for the NATCT.


Before construction on the air traffic control tower could begin, a portion of an American Airlines employee parking lot needed to be relocated. In August, Pan Oceanic Engineering Co., a certified MBE firm, finished the parking lot relocation project ahead of schedule and under budget.




A second construction project completed ahead of schedule and under budget was the Runway 14L Threshold Displacement. Aldridge Electric Co. wrapped up this project in November.


“Displacing the Runway 14L threshold was important because it allowed us to ‘move the fence’ and make the construction site for new Runway 9L-27R entirely landside, instead of airside, thereby minimizing the impact of construction to existing airport operations,” commented Andolino.





NORTH AIRFIELD UPDATE


Construction projects already awarded and under construction on the North Airfield include:


* Runway 9L-27R Site Preparation


* Relocation of Mt. Prospect Rd. and Guard Post 1


* NSWJAWA Watermain Relocation


* NSWJAWA Watermain "Hot Tap"


* Airfield Vaults and Associated Duct Banks


* North Air Traffic Control Tower


* American Airlines Parking Lot Relocation (Project completed on August 18, 2006)


* Runway 14L-32R Threshold Displacement (Project completed on November 2, 2006)




Contractors have moved more than 1.9 million cubic yards of dirt on the North Airfield since construction commenced in 2005.

SOUTH AIRFIELD UPDATE


Construction projects already awarded and under construction in the South Airfield include:


* Runway 10C-28C Berms 5 & 6 Relocation and Runway 10L Site Preparation


* South Detention Basin Site Preparation


* Runway 10C-28C Mass Grading (East)


* Runway 10L Mass Grading


* Airfield Vaults and Associated Duct Banks


OMP contractors have moved more than 1.75 million cubic yards of dirt on the South Airfield since the onset of construction in 2005.




Land Acquisition


Land acquisition activities continued to advance, as the OMP surpassed the 58 percent mark for acquired properties in the Village of Bensenville. By the end of December, the OMP acquired 359 of the 611 parcels slated for acquisition in Bensenville.




Litigation


The OMP marked another court victory that moves the program one step closer to being able to implement the entire project. In August, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals rejected the legal challenges to the FAA’s Record of Decision approving the City’s preferred Airport Layout Plan and the Letter of Intent to provide federal funding for O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) construction.




The City of Chicago is currently awaiting a ruling by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on the City’s ability to acquire and relocate St. Johannes Cemetery.




Community Outreach


The OMP maintained its aggressive community outreach to inform interested contractors about the program. The OMP hosted two contractor open houses in 2006, attended by more than 700 contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. The May 2006 Contractor Open House included the participation of eight local and state agencies such as the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, Department of Aviation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Tollway and others.




In November, the OMP and the Department of Aviation co-sponsored the first Aviation and Construction Industry Job Fair, where contractors working at O’Hare, Midway or the OMP in a number of professions met with interested job seekers. More than 600 people attended the job fair.

Sustainable Initiatives


The OMP continued its commitment to sustainability. In January, the OMP joined Mayor Daley, DuPage County and Forest Preserve officials to announce significant wetlands mitigation. The OMP will have an impact on 69 acres of low-quality, inaccessible wetlands within DuPage County. The City has provided DuPage County nearly $11 million to create and maintain 90 acres of new, high-quality, publicly accessible wetlands within the DuPage County West Branch Forest Preserve.




“The new wetlands will act as a natural filter that helps improve water quality and reduce water treatment costs,” said Andolino. And they will increase biodiversity by supporting new plants, fish and other animals,” Andolino added.




The O’Hare Modernization Program received the City of Chicago Greenworks “Green Practices” Award and the United States Green Building Council Chicago Chapter’s “Small Feet/Large Feat” award for its Sustainable Design Manual, a nationally-recognized document created in 2003 to incorporate sustainable initiatives on this project.




“The OMP has proudly embraced Mayor Richard M. Daley’s “green” vision by incorporating sustainable ideas on this project of national significance,” said Rosemarie S. Andolino, OMP Executive Director. “By doing so, we have made O’Hare the benchmark for environmental stewardship in design and construction for a civil project.”




The City of Chicago Greenworks “Green Practices” award highlights the creative ways that companies and organizations are meeting their bottom line while being environmentally proactive.




The USGBC Chicago Chapter’s “Small Feet/Large Feat” award recognizes an individual or organization that notably advances an idea that improves or restores the environment, discovers and imitates a process in nature or averts a negative impact on nature.



Three years after creating the Sustainable Design Manual, a total of 13 OMP construction projects have been evaluated. Among our accomplishments:



* Required the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel (ULSD) for on- and off-road construction vehicles greater than 50 hp. Our ULSD requirement for off-road vehicles was in place five years ahead of the federal mandate;


* Equipped all but the newest construction vehicles with particulate traps and oxidation catalysts;


* Recycled 90 percent of the materials from building demolitions;


* Mandated that trucks conveying materials leave the site covered;


* Restricted idling of construction vehicles;


* Building green roofs on the South Airfield Lighting Control Vault, the canopy of the relocated Guard Post 1 and the base building of the new North Airport Traffic Control Tower;


* Keeping as much dirt on site as possible to reduce construction traffic on local roadways. In fact, designers have elevated the new runway ends in order to store excess dirt underneath; and


* Provided more than $44 million to replace 154 acres of low quality, inaccessible wetlands currently on Airport property with nearly 450 acres of higher quality wetlands within the Des Plaines Watershed




About the O’Hare Modernization Program


The O’Hare Modernization Program, approved by the federal government in September 2005, will reconfigure O’Hare’s outdated intersecting runway configuration into a modern parallel configuration, substantially reducing delays and increasing capacity. The OMP will create up to 195,000 new jobs and add an additional $18 billion in annual economic activity to the region without the use of any state or local taxpayer dollars.

VivaLFuego Jan 31, 2007 10:56 PM

^ Yeah, how dare they try to relocate a cemetary. I mean, it's a real travesty Lincoln Park was built.

Lady, if your house is almost paid off, why not use the cash bonanza the city will pay you (probably several times what you paid for the house 20-some years ago) and just buy a new house for cash?

forumly_chgoman Feb 2, 2007 11:42 PM

^^^^You know what I gotta say to this douche bag is get out of your god#$%* car and frickin take the train, you schlub!

Rail Claimore Feb 4, 2007 12:38 AM

Karaganis is conning them out of even more money. So not only will they lose their homes, they'll be in debt again paying attorney's fees even with all the money Chicago will be giving them. Being emotional is never smart, especially when it can be so easily played upon.

Rail Claimore Feb 10, 2007 9:35 PM

** Deleted for copyright infringement **

- Dylan Leblanc

spyguy Feb 19, 2007 3:08 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

Inside Chicago's plan to get you to O'Hare

Tribune columnist Jon Hilkevitch has an exclusive look at the city's ambitious ideas to improve airport access


Published February 19, 2007

Chicago is pushing a new plan aimed at improving roadway access to O'Hare International Airport, where driving to and from the terminals is like going through the world's busiest cul-de-sac.

The ambitious initiative includes widening the main airport road, Interstate Highway 190, and building a new Mannheim Road over I-190, complete with a flyover ramp feeding traffic to the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate Highway 294).

In addition, the airport transit system, or People Mover trains, would be modernized. Twenty-four new People Mover cars would be added to the current 15-car fleet to meet future shuttle demand between the airline terminals and remote parking areas, city aviation officials said. Of the current 15 cars, 12 are in active use with three held in reserve.

The People Mover tracks ultimately would be extended to serve a new remote parking garage near economy parking lot F, officials said.

Ideas to relieve roadway choke points and improve safety for vehicles using the airport have been talked about for more than 20 years, but they ultimately reached a dead end.

"This is the first roadway overhaul at O'Hare since--forever," said Chicago Aviation Commissioner Nuria Fernandez, adding that I-190 has one of the highest traffic volumes per lane of any road in the nation. The number of passengers using O'Hare has increased nearly eightfold since the early 1960s.

Fernandez said the project to upgrade ground transportation around O'Hare is equally as important as city plans to build new runways--a program that has a separate ground transportation component.

"In the past we have suffered from a lack of combined vision--the city and the airlines--as it relates to what is necessary to provide the right entrance, the right front door to the airport," Fernandez said.

The city is applying to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval to use $207 million in future airline passenger ticket taxes to help pay for some of the design work on the massive project, which has not yet received federal or state funding.

The $117 million needed for the roadway project and $90 million for the People Mover enhancements would come from a $3 tax imposed on airline tickets. Total construction costs are yet to be determined, officials said.

Necessary city funding tentatively is estimated at $91 million, according to records, although the city contribution is expected to increase as the numbers are firmed up.

Drivers to O'Hare say the roadway changes cannot happen soon enough.

"The unpredictability factor on I-190 is the worst part," said Jeff Kedrowski of Hinsdale, a security consultant who takes his wife to and from O'Hare at least five times a month.

"It's not uncommon for us to get from our house to near the airport in 20 minutes, only for it to take another 30 minutes on Monday mornings or Friday nights to get to the terminals," he said.

The People Mover has not been upgraded since the system was completed in 1993. Passenger waiting times at stations have increased and the trains are often overcrowded.

"Passenger complaints to the carriers have increased and at times the [international terminal] escalators have been closed due to passenger surges, which result in fire code violations" when the number of people exceeds the maximum allowed on the platform, according to the city's funding application to the FAA.

Preliminary engineering and planning are under way between the city and the Illinois Department of Transportation to move the project forward. Part of the passenger ticket taxes the city wants to use will go toward reimbursing IDOT for initial design work.

The goal is to complete the road improvements by 2020 to head off projected gridlock on the airport roads, Fernandez said. Airport departure traffic on I-190 is expected to increase by as much as 60 percent by 2020, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.

The airport road improvements are considered an interim step. They would mesh with longer-range plans to build a western-access road into O'Hare, extend CTA and Metra rail transit and add parking on the western side of the airport in connection with the city's $15 billion runway-expansion program.

In addition to adding lanes and ramps on I-190 to handle and distribute traffic more manageably, another project component includes extending Balmoral Drive so it connects between Bessie Coleman Drive at O'Hare's international terminal and the village of Rosemont. The strategy is to provide an alternative reliever road to and from the airport, to take some of the pressure off I-190.

The Balmoral extension route would replace the ramp from Coleman onto southbound Mannheim. A bell-shaped bridge would cross over Mannheim and connect to Balmoral. Officials said the bridge allows for future expansion of the international terminal, construction of an eventual sixth airline terminal, and expansion of People Mover structures.

The proposal also includes building a new Canadian National Railroad bridge over I-190; replacing city water mains and other infrastructure under I-190; and relocating a water pumping station.

The airlines serving O'Hare are expected to file comments to the FAA on the city's road-improvement plan by the end of the month.

Over the years, the airline industry generally has shown limited interest in airport capital improvements not directly related to increasing flight capacity or streamlining airline efficiency.

City officials believe such an attitude is shortsighted. But the airlines' track record is one reason Chicago is seeking FAA permission to use passenger ticket taxes for the early phase of the roadway project, instead of requesting airline approval to issue new airline-backed general airport revenue bonds.

"It has been an interesting dialogue with the airlines regarding this project," Fernandez said.

"That's the reason we are pursuing [passenger ticket tax] funds, so we can get it going.

"The bottom line is that you cannot parachute people into O'Hare," she said.

nomarandlee Mar 15, 2007 11:10 AM

No surprise: Hudson keeps O'Hare shops
 
Ok, really just news to use as an excuse to bump this thread which was feeling neglected....


http://www.suntimes.com/business/297...hare15.article

No surprise: Hudson keeps O'Hare shops

March 15, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

The first open competition in a decade for lucrative news and gift shop concessions at O'Hare Airport ended Wednesday -- with a seven-year extension for the incumbent.
The new concession contract for Hudson News and Gifts comes as no surprise to competitors.


From the beginning, they had argued that the way the bid was structured gave Hudson the inside track.

Instead of inviting competition by dividing the news and gift shop concession into smaller, more manageable bites, the Daley administration put all 25 locations into a single package against the advice of its concessions manager. Together, those 15 stores and 10 kiosks generate $41.3 million in annual revenues.

"One company can win: the incumbent. It stinks so bad, it's unbelievable," a competitor, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Chicago Sun-Times when the competition began nearly a year ago.

At a news conference after the meeting, Aviation Commissioner Nuria Fernandez argued that Hudson's contract was "not a renewal, truly" because the company bought out W.H. Smith in December 2003.

"Hudson has now competed based on their own merits and they were the highest bid. So, we've selected them" from a field of six, she said.

The competition that ended Wednesday was the first since a controversial deal brokered by former mayoral pal Oscar D'Angelo put two friends of Maggie Daley in business at O'Hare.

The newspaper reported that D'Angelo, an unregistered lobbyist, collected at least $480,000 to broker a lucrative, 10-year contract extension for British bookseller W.H. Smith in a 1996 deal that also put two friends of the mayor's wife in business: Economic Club President Grace Barry and public relations maven Barbara Burrell.

Three years later, Barry sold her 49 percent interest in the company, known as Grabur, to Burrell. The sale from Barry to Burrell was disclosed as a City Council committee approved the ownership transfer from W.H. Smith to a subsidiary of Hudson Media Inc.

Hudson inherited Smith's partnership with Burrell. Burrell now has "no association with Hudson News that we are aware of," according to Aviation Department spokeswoman Wendy Abrams. Burrell could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Also awarded O'Hare concessions were such Chicago favorites as Garrett Popcorn Shops (two locations); Barbara's Bookstore (five stores); Auntie Anne's Pretzel's (two) and Nuts on Clark (two).

Chicago2020 Mar 21, 2007 7:02 PM

Does anyone have pictures of the new and improved Terminal 2???????

nomarandlee Apr 6, 2007 5:13 AM

City eyes ticket-tax revenue to buy O'Hare expansion land
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

City eyes ticket-tax revenue to buy O'Hare expansion land

By Richard Wronski
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 5, 2007, 7:56 PM CDT

Chicago officials say the city is running out of money to buy land for expansion of O'Hare International Airport and will seek federal approval to use $270 million in passenger ticket-tax revenue that the airlines say should be spent improving airport facilities, documents show.

O'Hare airlines oppose the idea, saying ticket taxes should not be used to cover land acquisition cost overruns.

The rift between the city and the airlines was disclosed in documents filed as part of the city's request to the Federal Aviation Administration, whose approval is required to use the ticket tax to buy land.

In a transcript of a January meeting with airline representatives, city aviation officials concede that a shortage of funds has forced them to slow land acquisition for the expansion. The city has acknowledged that the project is already $400 million over budget.

The city originally estimated it would cost $6.6 billion to modernize O'Hare. The project entails a major realignment of runways and acquisition of hundreds of homes, businesses and parkland in Bensenville and Elk Grove Village. It also will require relocating St. Johannes Cemetery's approximately 1,600 graves.

Bensenville and Elk Grove Village have long battled the expansion project, calling it a land grab and criticizing its funding. "This is a major illustration again that the pots of money the city is counting on aren't going to be there," said Joseph Karaganis, an attorney for those communities.

But Michael Boland, first deputy director of the project, said, "I strongly disagree with that. I think the city has identified a funding shortfall, disclosed it, identified a source of revenue and has a solution."

Boland said use of ticket-tax revenue for the land acquisition is appropriate. He pointed to comments by FAA Administrator Marion Blakey in January that the agency would look favorably on the city's request.

Blakey called the use of the ticket tax "a great way to raise revenue."

Previously, the airlines rejected Chicago's request to sell $500 million more in general airport revenue bonds for O'Hare expansion and capital projects. Doing so would have made the airlines liable for higher landing fees, rents and other charges the city would need to retire the debt.

At the Jan. 24 meeting, representatives of the air carriers pointedly questioned Department of Aviation officials about the project's financing.

When asked during the meeting about progress of the land acquisition, Boland outlined the need for the additional $270 million and acknowledged that land purchases have slowed so the city would not run out of money before July.

"So right now, land acquisition activities have been not suspended but slowed down to accommodate that scheduling [and] reduce the expenditures," Boland said, according to the transcript.

As of March 30, the city had acquired 389 of 611 parcels of land in Bensenville and needs to acquire five parcels in Elk Grove Village, according to the Department of Aviation.

Boland also tried to assure the airlines that the $270 million could safely be brought forward from the "contingency side" of the project's second phase while keeping the entire project on target.

Responded Mike Wesche of American Airlines: "It seems to me that if we are $270 million over on land acquisition … I'm not sure I understand how we can say that the overall … budget is still intact."

In their filings with the city, the airlines said they considered the city's request to be an increase in the budget for land acquisition.

The $270 million in ticket-tax revenue sought by the city, when compared with the original $381.7 million budgeted for land acquisition, amounts to approximately a 70 percent increase in a single budget-line item, United Airlines said.

Using ticket-tax revenue to acquire land would be "imprudent" in light of "other critical infrastructure and other capital needs" at O'Hare, wrote Sandra Widerborg, a United official and chairwoman of a committee representing the airlines. It could result in the money "being wasted if the city cannot identify the additional funding required to complete Phase 1 of the project," United said.

The airlines said the city should consider other funding alternatives and identify other ways to reduce the project's costs to bring them in line with the approved budget.

"We believe the city should take a more comprehensive approach in addressing [O'Hare modernization] funding and other capital requirements at [O'Hare]," United said.

When the city formally files its request, the FAA will consider all comments and will decide based on who makes the most "solid, logical argument as opposed to who is saying it," FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said Thursday.

rwronski@tribune.com



Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

nomarandlee Apr 8, 2007 8:38 PM

Over the years American/United have seemed to be very luke warm on expansion (at least ones that would lead to more eventual gates). Obviously they both enjoy the monopoly they have on O'Hare. If full expansion (including new terminals) were introduced to O'Hare they may have to face eventual competition from Southwest, Jetblue, or even have another legacy try to establish O'Hare as a focus city given O'Hare's prime continental position.

They likely can only be counted long term to support measures that streamline their operations and flights and want to limit major expansion.

Marcu Apr 16, 2007 3:01 PM

** Deleted for copyright infringement **

- Dylan Leblanc

Rail Claimore Apr 17, 2007 5:57 AM

^It makes some sense. The outer two runways are the main factors in bringing delays down at O'Hare. The future 9C and 10C runways are for added capacity in the future, particularly with larger planes like the A380... mainly because those two runways will be 200' wide. Currently, only 14R has that width and that's one of the two runways planned for decommission.

Honestly, I've always thought that while a full out expansion at O'Hare is needed, it would be smart to keep the 14/32 pair and instead eliminate the 4/22 pair instead.

And if they decide not to build future 9C and 10C, future 9R and 10L should be widened to 200' accordingly.

nomarandlee Apr 20, 2007 3:10 AM

New O'Hare expressway in state's 5-year highway plan
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

New O'Hare expressway in state's 5-year highway plan

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter
Published April 19, 2007, 2:25 PM CDT

State highway officials today unveiled a five-year program that envisions engineering and land acquisition for a long-awaited extension of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway to O'Hare International Airport, additional lanes for Interstate Highway 55 in the southwest suburbs and other projects across Illinois.

Program details were announced in Springfield by Acting Secretary Milt Sees of the Illinois Department of Transportation. Sees described the program as a "maintenance" budget focused on maintaining the existing highway system.

"This is pretty much a stay-the-course program," Sees said. "Three-fourths of the funding will go to maintaining roads and bridges, and about one-fourth will be directed at expansion and congestion relief."

About 45 percent of the budgeted $10.9 billion to be spent through 2013 would go toward work in the Chicago region, Sees said, and about 55 percent elsewhere in the state. The amount is $400 million more than called for last year.

To generate an additional $3 billion for bonds to pay for new construction, Sees called on the General Assembly to approve Gov. Rod Blagjevich's proposal for a gross receipts tax on business revenues. Most of the state's business interests oppose the proposed tax.

Sees warned that without passage of a new capital improvement program for state highways, roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate. He said the rising cost of steel, asphalt, concrete and other construction materials "doesn't paint a very healthy picture" and limits the state's ability to add new projects to the road program.

IDOT's program calls for improving nearly 4,200 miles of roads and replacing or rehabilitating 957 bridges. It includes continued funding for the reconstruction of 8 ½ miles of the Dan Ryan Expressway on Chicago's South Side.

A total of $169.7 million is designated for preliminary design work and land acquisition for an 11-mile extension of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway from its present, eastern end at Interstate Highway 290 in Itasca to the planned Ring Road on the west side of O'Hare. The proposed western access to the airport is a key part of the city's O'Hare expansion plan.

Money also is earmarked for adding lanes, widening and resurfacing 14 ½ miles of Interstate 55 near Joliet in southwest suburban Will County, and for resurfacing 9.6 miles of the Bishop Ford Freeway (Interstate Highway 94) on Chicago's South Side and in south suburban Cook County.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

Marcu Apr 20, 2007 5:50 AM

Quote:

About 45 percent of the budgeted $10.9 billion to be spent through 2013 would go toward work in the Chicago region, Sees said, and about 55 percent elsewhere in the state. The amount is $400 million more than called for last year
Nice to see the area with 70% of the state's population and the worst congestion getting 45% of the money.

whyhuhwhy Apr 20, 2007 5:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2781170)
Nice to see the area with 70% of the state's population and the worst congestion getting 45% of the money.

Unbelievable. Can someone explain this to me? I mean it does not add up. Wouldn't your prudent point be the first thing that pops into any legislature's mind? Why does 70% of the population get 45% of the funding, especially when you consider it is the area with the worst congestion.

trvlr70 Apr 20, 2007 6:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy (Post 2781924)
Unbelievable. Can someone explain this to me? I mean it does not add up. Wouldn't your prudent point be the first thing that pops into any legislature's mind? Why does 70% of the population get 45% of the funding, especially when you consider it is the area with the worst congestion.

Density. Just because Chicagoland has the biggest population, it doesn't mean that it has the greatest miles of roads that need to be repaired. Illinois is a big state and has many highways....some of which do not go though Chicago.

orulz Apr 25, 2007 3:07 PM

Since this thread seems to be dealing with all matter of airport issues around Chicago rather than just the O'Hare expansion, thought I'd post this here, as I don't think it's been posted yet.

It's the architect's page for the new design for the Gary-Chicago airport. The architect is Solomon Cordwell Buenz. It's highly intermodal, and it's sleek and modern in a very European sense.

It clearly involves relocating the South Shore line, probably to the north of the airport. This would bypass the current Clark Road and East Chicago stations, but probably bring the line through downtown East Chicago instead.

Wonder whether this is just a dream, or whether The Gary Chicago Airport Authority has the pull to make it happen. Regardless, this sounds WAY better than some massive airport way out in the boonies that chews up farmland and doesn't connect to transit.

http://www.scb.com/images/project/98/1.jpghttp://www.scb.com/images/project/98/2.jpghttp://www.scb.com/images/project/98/3.jpghttp://www.scb.com/images/project/98/4.jpg

VivaLFuego Apr 25, 2007 4:27 PM

^ It's a cool idea, and awesome how the transit literally runs into the terminal the way it's supposed to be. I know Gary/Chicago is currently seeing some work done to it's terminal as part of the FTA expansion project (also lengthening the main runway), but obviously nothing quite on that grand scale. Gary really has great potential to be Chicago's Gatwick or Stanstead (or Newark, since NW Indiana is our Jersey); not particularly close to the CBD, but still easily accessible by rail, and further conveniently serving a large chunk of the metropolitan area with discount flights.

Marcu Apr 25, 2007 5:49 PM

Currently, the southshore gary airport stop is a good 1.5 miles away and it's virtually impossible to make the walk (unless you wish to walk down a 55mph industrial highway with no sidewalks through one of the most crime-ridden parts of the country). There is no way in hell they would ever move the southshore line to accompany airport traffic. A more likely solution will be either a people-mover type concept that goes back and forth from the southshore stop to the terminal or a shuttle.

VivaLFuego Apr 25, 2007 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2793963)
Currently, the southshore gary airport stop is a good 1.5 miles away and it's virtually impossible to make the walk (unless you wish to walk down a 55mph industrial highway with no sidewalks through one of the most crime-ridden parts of the country). There is no way in hell they would ever move the southshore line to accompany airport traffic. A more likely solution will be either a people-mover type concept that goes back and forth from the southshore stop to the terminal or a shuttle.

Start with a bus shuttle with times posted at the terminal and the station, scheduled to coordinate with arriving and departing trains.

Eventually, you could build a mile-long brach breaking off the main line to enter the airport; Operationally, you could (1) add train runs that only travel between the airport and downtown Chicago to both boost frequency on this higher commuter ridership portion of the line (i.e. through Hegewisch, Hammond, East Chicago) as well as provide more frequent service for travelers between the airport and downtown (every 30 minutes would be optimal, eventually. The other operational option (2) would be something like BARTs SFO connection, where trains pull off the mainline into the airport station, then reverse back out on to the main line.

nomarandlee Apr 25, 2007 9:35 PM

Gary would be a good airport for Ryan Air and their new American service. Midway I think would be too small and Ryan is planning on using secondary airports for its new service. That would be a big coup for them if they were to get such service.

bnk Apr 25, 2007 10:06 PM

What are the projected fights out of O'hare after the completion of the expansion project?

http://www.western-star.com/s/conten..._0105_COX.html


Atlanta bests Chicago for busiest airport designation
By JIM THARPE
Cox News Service

Friday, January 05, 2007

ATLANTA — Chicago has Oprah. Atlanta has Elton. Chicago had Mrs. O'Leary's cow. Atlanta had Gen. William T. Sherman.

And for the second year in a row, Atlanta had more airplanes taking off and landing at the big airport than Chicago did at theirs.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Thursday that Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport had yet again trumped Chicago's O'Hare for the title of nation's busiest airport when measured in terms of takeoffs and landings.

Hartsfield-Jackson and O'Hare have vied for the No. 1 bragging rights since the late 1990s when Atlanta's airport stepped up to challenge O'Hare's long reign. In 2005, Hartsfield topped O'Hare in both passengers and the number of takeoffs and landings, making it the busiest airport in the world — a title it still holds, according to the Airports Council International.

"What this is indicative of is the continued robust economy in the city of Atlanta, the good weather we have and the ever-increasing number of corporate headquarters that are being set up here," said Mario Diaz, deputy general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson.

O'Hare, however, is under flight restrictions, and it shares metro area air traffic with Midway Airport — two factors that cut into Chicago's standing.

London's Heathrow came in third worldwide behind Atlanta and Chicago in the most recent ranking of airports worldwide, as measured by passengers and cargo.

Final passenger numbers for 2006 have not been calculated, but through November, Hartsfield counted about 78 million passengers, while O'Hare had about 70 million, airport spokeswoman Sterling Payne said. In 2005, Hartsfield had 86 million passengers, compared with 77 million for O'Hare, and officials predicted Atlanta would again top O'Hare in total passenger traffic.

"There's no way they can catch up" with December numbers, Diaz said.

Atlanta's airport recorded 976,313 takeoffs and landings in 2006, compared with 958,643 for O'Hare, according to

the FAA.

Dallas Fort-Worth came in third nationally with 702,713. Chicago's Midway had 298,547.

The top numbers were down a bit compared with last year, said Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the FAA's Atlanta office, which oversees the Southern region.

Atlanta's air traffic was down about 0.4 percent, while Chicago's was off about 1.4 percent and Dallas' about 2.2 percent.

"We attribute that to a bit of a slower pace in the industry in general," Bergen said.

Wendy Abrams, spokeswoman for Chicago's Department of Aviation, said Chicago officials were not surprised Atlanta bested O'Hare for a second year running.

"O'Hare's flight restrictions, which are scheduled to expire next year, have limited our ability to land and depart aircraft and, ultimately, meet the demand for air service that continues to grow at our airport," she said.

The FAA limited the number of flights coming into O'Hare because of overscheduling by airlines. The restrictions will be lifted once airport expansions are completed.
Atlanta, meanwhile, opened a fifth runway in May 2006, and Delta added 23 new international flights to its hub even as it tried to climb out of bankruptcy, Diaz said.

He pointed out that Atlanta and Chicago might not have much longer to brag about on the "busiest" front in coming years. A rising middle class in China and India could swell air travel in those countries, making the Atlanta-Chicago rivalry a thing of the past.

"We all understand that being the world's busiest is the most fleeting event around," he said.


Jim Tharpe writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

nergie Apr 26, 2007 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnk (Post 2794699)
What are the projected fights out of O'hare after the completion of the expansion project?

http://www.western-star.com/s/conten..._0105_COX.html


Atlanta bests Chicago for busiest airport designation
By JIM THARPE
Cox News Service

Friday, January 05, 2007

ATLANTA — Chicago has Oprah. Atlanta has Elton. Chicago had Mrs. O'Leary's cow. Atlanta had Gen. William T. Sherman.

And for the second year in a row, Atlanta had more airplanes taking off and landing at the big airport than Chicago did at theirs.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Thursday that Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport had yet again trumped Chicago's O'Hare for the title of nation's busiest airport when measured in terms of takeoffs and landings.

Hartsfield-Jackson and O'Hare have vied for the No. 1 bragging rights since the late 1990s when Atlanta's airport stepped up to challenge O'Hare's long reign. In 2005, Hartsfield topped O'Hare in both passengers and the number of takeoffs and landings, making it the busiest airport in the world — a title it still holds, according to the Airports Council International.

"What this is indicative of is the continued robust economy in the city of Atlanta, the good weather we have and the ever-increasing number of corporate headquarters that are being set up here," said Mario Diaz, deputy general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson.

O'Hare, however, is under flight restrictions, and it shares metro area air traffic with Midway Airport — two factors that cut into Chicago's standing.

London's Heathrow came in third worldwide behind Atlanta and Chicago in the most recent ranking of airports worldwide, as measured by passengers and cargo.

Final passenger numbers for 2006 have not been calculated, but through November, Hartsfield counted about 78 million passengers, while O'Hare had about 70 million, airport spokeswoman Sterling Payne said. In 2005, Hartsfield had 86 million passengers, compared with 77 million for O'Hare, and officials predicted Atlanta would again top O'Hare in total passenger traffic.

"There's no way they can catch up" with December numbers, Diaz said.

Atlanta's airport recorded 976,313 takeoffs and landings in 2006, compared with 958,643 for O'Hare, according to

the FAA.

Dallas Fort-Worth came in third nationally with 702,713. Chicago's Midway had 298,547.

The top numbers were down a bit compared with last year, said Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the FAA's Atlanta office, which oversees the Southern region.

Atlanta's air traffic was down about 0.4 percent, while Chicago's was off about 1.4 percent and Dallas' about 2.2 percent.

"We attribute that to a bit of a slower pace in the industry in general," Bergen said.

Wendy Abrams, spokeswoman for Chicago's Department of Aviation, said Chicago officials were not surprised Atlanta bested O'Hare for a second year running.

"O'Hare's flight restrictions, which are scheduled to expire next year, have limited our ability to land and depart aircraft and, ultimately, meet the demand for air service that continues to grow at our airport," she said.

The FAA limited the number of flights coming into O'Hare because of overscheduling by airlines. The restrictions will be lifted once airport expansions are completed.
Atlanta, meanwhile, opened a fifth runway in May 2006, and Delta added 23 new international flights to its hub even as it tried to climb out of bankruptcy, Diaz said.

He pointed out that Atlanta and Chicago might not have much longer to brag about on the "busiest" front in coming years. A rising middle class in China and India could swell air travel in those countries, making the Atlanta-Chicago rivalry a thing of the past.

"We all understand that being the world's busiest is the most fleeting event around," he said.


Jim Tharpe writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Here we go again the world's biggest pissing contest. How many times do we have to hear about this rivarly? Enough already.

Rail Claimore Apr 26, 2007 6:05 PM

^Till one outright pulls away from the other... obviously. I don't think that'll happen any time soon though, so long as both expansions are now going full-speed ahead.

nergie Apr 26, 2007 8:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore (Post 2796958)
^Till one outright pulls away from the other... obviously. I don't think that'll happen any time soon though, so long as both expansions are now going full-speed ahead.

The problem is this topic becomes a bit tiresome, the expansion projects are quite interesting. Is there a thread for the proposed ATL expansion?

Rail Claimore Apr 27, 2007 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2797397)
The problem is this topic becomes a bit tiresome, the expansion projects are quite interesting. Is there a thread for the proposed ATL expansion?

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=102191&page=6

Interesting updates have been a bit slow as of late, what with the new runway and control tower completed last year. It should pick up once more news on the new international terminal is known.

Chicago Shawn Apr 27, 2007 6:26 AM

^So that is what they have been doing to the parking garage. It makes sense now, what a innovative way to speed up efficentcy while just altering existing structure. The walkway between the train and the terminal has also improved in asthetics, but its now nearly twice as long. I actually used it this evening as I had to take a leak before boarding the Orange Line. I love the fact that Midway is so intergrated into the urban fabric that I can walk right into the terminal from the street and use the bathrom. Its the nation's most urban airport.

Kngkyle May 7, 2007 9:03 PM

Runway Target Date: Nov. '08

By TODD WESSELL

Journal Editor

Two runways at O'Hare Airport---one a new northern landing area, the other a 3,000 ft. long extension of an existing runway---are scheduled to open on Nov. 20, 2008, local business people were told Wednesday morning.

About 75 members of the Rosemont Chamber of Commerce heard Chris Armand, director of the O'Hare expansion program, explain the project's schedule and work progress. The event was held at the Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont.

Armand said 2007 and 2008 are the two "biggest years" of the Airport's multi-billion dollar expansion program. Work includes reconfiguring the facility's runway system as well as probably building a new western access near York Road Elk Grove Village. Total cost estimates have ranged between $6.5 billion and $15 billion.

A significant aspect of the project is the building of six east-west runways including the new northern runway that parallels Touhy Avenue in Des Plaines. Construction on the 7,500 ft. long runway is currently underway. In order to perform the work, Chicago had to purchase property that was in the City of Des Plaines south of Touhy and west of Mt. Prospect Road.

Armand told the business people that the northern runway will be O'Hare's first new runway since 1971. He said it will reduce delays at O'Hare "up to 80%".

"Unfortunately, we're No. 1 in something and that's delays," Armand said later.

The other runway work that is scheduled to be completed is near the south section of O'Hare. That runway currently spans 10,000 ft. and will be expanded to 13,000 ft. Armand said it will be used to help handle anticipated growth in foreign air travel to O'Hare. A third runway will also be expanded to handle the larger, wider airplanes. Work on that will not be completed until 2011.

Besides runway work, construction is also currently underway on a new control tower at the north end of the Airport. Armand said the shaft of that structure will be built by this fall and the facility turned over the FAA next March.

"The sooner we can get things done, the sooner we can get the benefits," said Armand. "Our goal is to be aptly prepared for the Olympics", which, if Chicago is chosen would be held in the summer of 2016.

http://www.journal-topics.com/dp/07/dp070504.2.html

nomarandlee May 14, 2007 1:34 PM

DALEY'S PLAN | Would pay for new runway, refinancing
 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/3...hare14.article

City may borrow $1 bil. for O'Hare
DALEY'S PLAN | Would pay for new runway, refinancing

May 14, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN AND MONIFA THOMAS Staff Reporters/fspielman@sun times.com, mjthomas@suntimes.com

Mayor Daley is asking the City Council to authorize a $1 billion O'Hare Airport bond issue -- the second-largest in Chicago history -- to finance construction of a new runway, refinance existing O'Hare debt and bankroll $100 million in airport improvements.

The massive borrowing, quietly introduced at Wednesday's City Council meeting, would be paid off with revenues generated by a $4.50 fee tacked on to airline tickets, known as a passenger facility charge (PFC).

The city won't issue the bonds unless the Federal Aviation Administration approves its request to use $1 billion in ticket-tax money to pay for the first phase of the mayor's massive runway expansion project.

That request, made last fall, is separate from the city's more recent application for $270 million in PFCs to help finance $400 million in overruns tied to land acquisition and litigation for the multibillion-dollar project.

1 runway to open by '08

Unlike the $270 million, the city's request for $1 billion in ticket taxes to back the bond issue "reflects completely the financial plan we put forth in 2003," O'Hare modernization chief Rosemarie Andolino said.
An estimated $500 million of the bond proceeds would be earmarked for runway construction, the first in decades at O'Hare.

Runway 9L/27R on the northernmost portion of O'Hare near Touhy and Mannheim is scheduled to open by November 2008. All of the property has been acquired and cleared.


Other projects

The site is now being graded in preparation for pouring concrete, said Roderick Drew, a spokesman for the O'Hare Modernization Project.
Roughly $400 million would be used to refinance existing airport debt at reduced interest rates. Another $100 million would bankroll O'Hare projects unrelated to Daley's runway expansion project.

Two years ago, a $1.5 billion bond issue needed to jump-start O'Hare expansion was nearly grounded because of accusations that an underwriter had not come clean about its past ties to slavery.

Chicago2020 May 14, 2007 9:29 PM

Just get it done Mayor. O'Hare will be even better with all the improvements and new additions

UglymanCometh May 14, 2007 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jersey Mentality (Post 1606032)
They want to build one way way out in south suburban Southern Will County in this town called Peotone which is like 45 miles south of the Loop.

They've been talking about that for at least a decade now... I didn't know that it was still being pushed for.

Doesn't Gary have an airport that could be expanded/upgraded?

alwaysonthefly May 14, 2007 11:32 PM

Rockford...
 
makes a great deal more sense than most of the other 'options':
1. A former USAF base with long enough runways to be UPS's 2nd largest air hub (lotsa heavy metal already operates there between dusk and dawn);
2. Triangulated (roughly) between Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison;
3. Situated northwest of ORD - just up I-90 - where the significant population growth from Chicago is projected over the next 20-25 years.

Along with Gary (southeast of Chicago), RFD makes perfect sense as a primary reliever airport for the entire Chicagoland area!

nomarandlee May 16, 2007 5:31 AM

:previous:

More of the same with a little more.....

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

Midway seen as likely to hit wall
Report predicts capacity problem


By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter
Published May 16, 2007

The federal government on Tuesday placed Midway Airport on a watch list of U.S. airports that are steadily losing their ability to add more flights.

The Southwest Side airport, increasingly popular among travelers attracted to Midway's abundance of low-cost airlines, is expected to become capacity-constrained between 2015 and 2025, according to a new analysis by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The impending crunch means severe flight delays would become a daily routine at landlocked Midway, just as they now are on many days at O'Hare International Airport, which is at the bottom of the list of U.S. airports for on-time performance.

"Midway will benefit somewhat from the next-generation air-traffic control system and all kinds of new avionics, but clearly we know that a lot more cannot be done and some choices will have to be made,"
said a high-ranking FAA official in Washington.

Midway served an average of 51,694 passengers a day in 2006, up from 42,822 passengers in 2000, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Daily takeoffs and landings remained stable at about 800 flights through the period.

Chicago's plans to build new runways at O'Hare "may help offset some of the additional activity forecast for Midway," the FAA report said. "But additional solutions may be needed as well, including a new airport that is now being considered" in Will County near Peotone, the report said.

The FAA assessment did not identify the Chicago metropolitan area as needing additional aviation capacity this year, because of available runway capacity at smaller airports. But the report made several assumptions in predicting an adequate supply of air service into the future for Chicago-area travelers.

The report took it for granted that Chicago's $15 billion O'Hare expansion—which is behind schedule and over budget—would be completed by 2013 on the city's original timetable. The first new O'Hare runway, part of a total realignment of the airfield, is expected to open in late 2008. But city officials offer no timeline for completion of the whole project, which is only partially paid for.

In addition, the FAA report presumed that Chicago Rockford International Airport and Gary-Chicago International Airport would serve as secondary commercial passenger airports in the Chicago region, along with Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, over at least the next several decades. But no airlines currently provide regular service to Rockford or Gary.

The FAA review of airports and passenger demand in metropolitan areas through 2025 concluded that Chicago's effort to expand O'Hare—along with runway projects and construction of new airports in cities on the East and West Coasts—are vital to serving the needs of the national airspace system over the next 20 years.

"By 2025, cities like Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago and San Diego are going to have to risk the lost revenue, lost business and lost appeal that comes with chronic airport delays or they're going to have to consider building new airports," U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said in Washington.

Houston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Phoenix also were included in the list of cities that must begin planning for increasing numbers of air travelers, Peters said.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

alwaysonthefly May 16, 2007 11:45 AM

What, "no airlines provide regular service at Rockford..."?
 
Guess somebody's asleep at the wheel; the Friendly Skies folks provide multiple daily RJ frequencies between Rockford and Denver (with connecting service at UA's DEN hub to their Left Coast destinations) - and have for over a year now.

VivaLFuego May 16, 2007 2:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alwaysonthefly (Post 2838391)
Guess somebody's asleep at the wheel; the Friendly Skies folks provide multiple daily RJ frequencies between Rockford and Denver (with connecting service at UA's DEN hub to their Left Coast destinations) - and have for over a year now.

Yeah, this would have been easy to look up....there are definitely regularly scheduled flights to Rockford, but obviously not that many; it basically gets comparable service to any of the other smaller cities in the midwest: a couple flights a day to regional hubs.

alwaysonthefly May 16, 2007 2:52 PM

Rockford, like an ever increasing number of other small-to-medium sized airports around the country, is working smarter (as well as harder) to 'future proof' itself against under-utilization of it's key facilities (i.e. - ticket counters, gates, etc.). RFD provides a common sense solution for airline passenger processing that leverages secure, airline-proprietary technology throughout the terminal; this flexible provisioning capability reduces costs/risks for their airline partners while, at the same time, optimizing RFD's limited 'bricks and mortar' passenger terminal.

RFD has the ability to accommodate several airlines - using shared facilities - at different times throughout the day. Perhaps, if/as/when other airports follow RFD's leadership in this key area, the capacity-driven need to expand landside operations will be partially mitigated by a more cost effective and service responsive optimization of terminal assets...certainly more so than the 'build it, long-term lease it and they will come' proprietary-use airport model that's long been the norm in North America.

VivaLFuego May 16, 2007 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alwaysonthefly (Post 2838647)
Rockford, like an ever increasing number of other small-to-medium sized airports around the country, is working smarter (as well as harder) to 'future proof' itself against under-utilization of it's key facilities (i.e. - ticket counters, gates, etc.). RFD provides a common sense solution for airline passenger processing that leverages secure, airline-proprietary technology throughout the terminal; this flexible provisioning capability reduces costs/risks for their airline partners while, at the same time, optimizing RFD's limited 'bricks and mortar' passenger terminal.

RFD has the ability to accommodate several airlines - using shared facilities - at different times throughout the day. Perhaps, if/as/when other airports follow RFD's leadership in this key area, the capacity-driven need to expand landside operations will be partially mitigated by a more cost effective and service responsive optimization of terminal assets...certainly more so than the 'build it, long-term lease it and they will come' proprietary-use airport model that's long been the norm in North America.

Even so, at the end of the day isn't RFD's only regularly scheduled passenger service from United (aside from assorted seasonally scheduled charter flights to vacation destinations)?

You're right that they're taking some good steps, but it also hardly makes sense for local, state, or federal governments to overinvest in an airport that will never be more than a regional feeder to hubs or at most, receive some spillover from the far reaches of the Chicago area (90 miles from downtown is much too far for the majority of Chicagoland residents; even Peotone would be embraced more than RFD or Mitchell for spillover traffic, that is if the obvious solution in Gary isn't embraced by the Indiana government).

nomarandlee May 16, 2007 5:37 PM

Viva is right. Rockford as far out as it is will only be attractive for the very outer reaches of the metro (which are not very dense). Even most western and northern burbs will still find O'Hare to be a good more deal attractive then a Rockford. The 45 miles Peotone is out is bad enough but 50-90 miles is utterly meaningless for 95% of the metro unless you connect it by Maglev or something.

As has been stated Gary makes the most sense since it is the closest to downtown and in the middle of the most densely built up area and underserved (NW Indiana) with the best base infrastructure to expand upon.

Peotone if connected with the ten mile Metra extension would perhaps be palateable (though still inefficant in my mind). The most that Mitchell, Peotone, or Rockford are ever to be considered would be releiver airports due to the distances from the outer edges of the metro serving niche communities.

alwaysonthefly May 16, 2007 8:09 PM

No argument on the geography guys, just wanted to make my point that there's more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. RFD's investment in convergence (between airlines and airports) technology...even as a reliever airport...provides a reasonable model for other airports to consider; whenever funding is an issue (and when isn't it), enhancing optimization of an existing facility...particularly at larger airports...offers a compelling, less costly alternative to new construction.

Chicago2020 May 17, 2007 10:54 PM

Thought this was cool. From the O'Hare website

http://www.ohare.com/FACE/FACE05rotate2.gif

VivaLFuego May 17, 2007 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alwaysonthefly (Post 2839338)
No argument on the geography guys, just wanted to make my point that there's more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. RFD's investment in convergence (between airlines and airports) technology...even as a reliever airport...provides a reasonable model for other airports to consider; whenever funding is an issue (and when isn't it), enhancing optimization of an existing facility...particularly at larger airports...offers a compelling, less costly alternative to new construction.

True. And by all means, airports on the periphery (Rockford and Milwaukee, particularly) should target traffic from the fringes of the Chicago metro. But the recent FAA report makes it even more clear that the Chicago area needs to be making decisions NOW about where it's 3rd airport will be, and it's basically between Gary and Peotone, each with certain geographical advantages and each with a whole mess of political considerations that could make or break them.

VivaLFuego May 18, 2007 2:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2842583)
The question is, how do you expand capacity without excessively increasing the development footprint of the metro region. The answer is recycling every bit of available developed land and redesignating it to more effecient use. Expand Midway south to the Clearing yard, West 4 city blocks, North to Archer Ave. This should be enough to allow parrallel take offs and landings, virtually increasing capacity by one half. It would keep the metro airspace tight but efficient, and as such, the metro area itself.

From a flight capacity standpoint this would be great, but where would you put the replacement for Clearing Yard? It's a vital part of the national freight rail system. There would have to be a replacement in place and operational before a Midway expansion could be begin. Tacks on a couple billion $....

nergie May 18, 2007 4:31 PM

:tup:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2842583)
The question is, how do you expand capacity without excessively increasing the development footprint of the metro region. The answer is recycling every bit of available developed land and redesignating it to more effecient use. Expand Midway south to the Clearing yard, West 4 city blocks, North to Archer Ave. This should be enough to allow parrallel take offs and landings, virtually increasing capacity by one half. It would keep the metro airspace tight but efficient, and as such, the metro area itself.

My idea is to bulldoze as much of Elk Grove and Bensonville as possible, those morons haven't got a clue. This would allow O'Hare to add terminals, the perimeter taxiway, etc. Heck, if we could convince W that Saddam hid is WMD's in Elk Grove this would have been taken care of years ago.

Chicago2020 May 24, 2007 3:47 AM

The North Tower is now listed on Emporis


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