Chicago OHare ORD Airport Overview

Chicago O’Hare International Airport ORD serves the State of Illinois and the Greater Chicago area. It is the Nation's second-largest Airport in terms of passenger count (the largest being Atlanta), operated by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).  ORD is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, and making continuous updates to its facilities to keep up with the increase of passengers.

ORD Airport is about 17 miles northwest of the Chicago Loop, in the northwestern-most corner Chicago's city limits, and is located near the Tristate Tollway (I-294) and I-I90. Motorists enter & exit via I-190, branching off I-90 (Kennedy Expwy.) leading to downtown Chicago. The new Access to O'Hare via Balmoral Avenue is now open - extending west over Mannheim Road and directly connecting with Bessie Coleman Drive near the International Terminal 5. If traveling westbound on Balmoral Av. from I-294, this 4-lane extension is a new airport entry point.  Also, Balmoral Av. extension is now the main connector to east & south  Mannheim Rd. for the heading eastound from the airport.

With eight runways and about 75 million passengers annually, Chicago O’Hare International Airport is an important hub for United and American Airlines, and is served by a multitude of domestic and foreign airlines offering direct and connecting flights to all points of the globe. 
-  American Airline offers two daily flights to Sacramento, CA.
- Volaris offers flights to/from Monterrey, Mexico, twice a week.
- Direct service to Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport started July 2016.

The on-Airport Hilton Hotel (tel. 1-855 827-1005) also offers the use of showers at their health club for a small fee.  

O'Hare International Airport has four passenger terminals - domestic T1, T2, T3 & international T5.

Now Available at ORD:
- U.S. CPB Global Entry - allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers arriving at the U.S. expedited clearance.
- '1-Stop' Customs clearance for international passengers arriving without checked luggage;
- APC - Automated Passport Control kiosks to move quickly through customs via self-service kiosk technology. 
- Alternatively, arriving passengers at U.S. Airports may use Airside Mobile's  #Mobile Passport App for bypassing the waiting line at Customs /CBP by simply completing your profile, answering questions & head straight to the 'Mobile Passport Control express lane'. The App is available at both the App Store and at Google play.

 - During late May & June 2016, TSA added 58 more security screeners at Chicago airports, while by mid-August, 250 further screeners will have been added. 100 TSA current screeners will change from part- to full-time hours.
According to the  May 27, 2016 article of the Chicago Tribune
: While the average security wait times at Chicago airports have dropped to eight minutes at O'Hare and nine minutes at Midway (following a management shake-up and the addition of more TSA staff  - peak wait times, which tend to be in the morning, were 42 minutes at O'Hare between May 15 & 27, down from 105 minutes in the first half of the month, and at  Midway 44 minutes, down from 65 minutes.  However, TSA still advises to arrive at the airport well before their flights  two hours for domestic travel, and three hours for international.

 - Progress is made in increasing capacity for new airline service. 
 - In Oct. 2015 O'Hare opened new 7,500 foot-long runway 10R-28L - the 5th east-west parallel runway at the south airfield - while the newly opened 13-level South Air Traffic Control Tower with a geothermal energy system manages operations at the new runway - all to result in a strong increase of both departure & arrivals flights.

Current & Future Airport Developments: 
A.  New Intermodal Facility ongoing work up to December 2016 includes moving rental car agencies out of various locations, and extending /creating a new ATS station - thereby enhancing connectivity between rental cars, parking facilities, roadways, CTA & Metra.
B.  The $1.3B infrastructure plan is to be completed between 2018 & 2020:
 - American Airlines will add 5 gates at T3, to be completed by 2018 - resulting in fewer delays and shorter taxi times.
  - Road work up to 2018 includes existing Elgin O'Hare Expressway rehab & widenening;  new interchange configuration at Elgin O'Hare/I-290 and Elgin O'Hare/Illinois Route 53; new access at I-90/ Elmhurst Road; Extension of existing Elgin-O'Hare Expressway to O'Hare Airport; and Western access into O'Hare Airport via York Road.
  - A new Runway 9C/27C (east-to-west, 11,245ft long /200ft wide) with de-icing pads and new perimeter taxiways A & B- is scheduled to open in 2020.
C.  Tentative Airport Expansion Plans were submitted in July 2016 (the planning process is scheduled for completion some time in 2017): Initial details of a multi-billion dollar capital investment program (CIP) are to include the expansion of T5 and redevelopment of T2 - the first stage of which involves the expansion of T5 by about a fourth of its current size; and adding nine new gates.  Furthermore, T2 is envisioned to be redeveloped into a new central facility within the current complex, with new concessions, Customs and an upgraded depa Initial details of a multi-billion dollar capital investment program (CIP) are to include the expansion of T5 and redevelopmrtures hall with added space for TSA screening. Also, plans are to construct a new concourse to the west of the terminal to accommodate increases in passenger numbers.

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