WBEZ | ord http://www.wbez.org/tags/ord Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois Senators remind American not to forget about ORD expansion http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-senators-remind-american-not-forget-about-ord-expansion-105568 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AMRresized_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F79436747" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Illinois senators don&rsquo;t want the pending merger between American Airlines and US Airways to affect plans to expand O&rsquo;Hare International Airport.</p><p>Last night, Senators Dick Durbin (D) and Mark Kirk (R) sent American Airlines a letter saying they hope the merger won&rsquo;t derail the O&rsquo;Hare expansion plan.</p><p>The billion dollar <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/doa/provdrs/omp.html">O&rsquo;Hare Modernization Program</a> hinges on agreement United and American Airlines. The city is scheduled to sit back down with the two carriers in March to work on the next phase of the decade-long project.</p><p><a href="http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/agreement-reached-expand-capacity-o%E2%80%99hare-and-foster-economic-growth-nationwide">In 2011</a>, Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood helped broker a deal between the federal government, the city and the airlines.</p><p>In the letter, the Senators reminded the airline the O&rsquo;Hare project &quot;will create 195,000 more jobs and generate $18 billion in annual economic activity,&quot; adding the merger faces &ldquo;regulatory scrutiny&rdquo; by legislators before being approved.</p><p>Speaking today from Chicago, Sen. Durbin said the project was crucial.</p><p>&quot;We really believe that key to economic progress in the Chicago reason is new runways and the modernization of O&#39;Hare,&quot; Durbin said. &quot;I&#39;d like a committment from the new American Airlines that they are going to with us in that effort.&quot;</p><p>Staff from Senator Durbin&rsquo;s office said they had not yet received a response from American.</p><p>&quot;We appreciate the concerns expressed in the letter by Senators Durbin and Kirk,&quot; American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said, adding, &quot;We have frankly been a little bit busy of late.&quot;</p><p>Fagan reiterated what the airline said yesterday during its merger announcement, that Chicago remains an important hub, but declined further comment.</p><p>Here&#39;s the full letter sent yesterday:</p><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/125701684/Durbin-Kirk-Letter-to-AA-and-US-Airways-Merger-2-14-13" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Durbin Kirk Letter to AA and US Airways - Merger - 2.14.13 on Scribd">Durbin Kirk Letter to AA and US Airways - Merger - 2.14.13</a> by</p><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_40997" scrolling="no" src="http://www.scribd.com/embeds/125701684/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 16:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-senators-remind-american-not-forget-about-ord-expansion-105568