homepage home
subscribe to Midwest Construction magazine subscribe
newsletters free e-newsletter
advertise
industry jobs industry jobs
Mcgraw Hill Construction
Midwest Construction Logo
Order Your RISK FREE Subscription
comment

United CEO Says No Need for Fourth O'Hare Runway

Text size: A A

Three weeks ago, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on American and United Airlines to support construction of a fourth runway at O'Hare International Airport in order to raise capacity and reduce delays at the Midwest's largest hub.

----- Advertising -----

Thursday, United Continental Holdings CEO Jeff Smisek responded, but not with an answer Emanuel wanted to hear.

When asked during a public appearance what type of additional expansion O'Hare would require to meet current or future demand, Smisek replied, “None. The project that we have now is more than sufficient for any reasonably foreseeable demand.”

American and United, O'Hare's two largest carriers, must approve capital projects funded by bonds, since repayment relies on the landing fees and other charges they generate. In 2011, the two airlines agreed to support a third runway after suing the city for securing loans for a multi-billion-dollar  expansion without their consent.

Smisek indicated that construction of a new airport in south suburban Chicago, a proposal supported by U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), also isn't warranted. “There's no demand for it,” he said. Any benefits, he added, would be “vastly overshadowed...by the damage it would do to O'Hare.”

Rather than increase capacity in the region, Smisek indicated O'Hare should modernize its air traffic control systems. He elaborated that implementing satellite-based systems rather ground-based radar would increase productivity while resulting in less jet fuel use and fewer emissions.”

American, under court supervision since filing for Chaper 11 bankruptcy in November, indicated in March it is “very supportive of modernizing O'Hare. However, we remain focused on our restructuring and have limited ability to make commitments going forward.”

 

Keywords:

----- Advertising -----
Blog: ENR Midwest Musings
ENR Midwest Musings delivers the latest news, insights and opinions about construction & design in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri, as well as Iowa, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota.
Reader Photos
Photos from ENR Photo Showcase
Dodge Lead Center
Search for local construction projects OR CALL 877-234-4246 and get a FREE Lead Now!
Search by Project Type & State





----- Advertising -----
 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.