WBEZ | O'Hare Modernization Program http://www.wbez.org/tags/ohare-modernization-program Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daley, airlines struggle to reach compromise on expanding O'Hare http://www.wbez.org/story/american-airlines/daley-airlines-struggle-reach-compromise-expanding-ohare <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/ohare_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">The blizzard that rocked the Midwest this week brought most air travel to a standstill at some of the country&rsquo;s busiest airports. Particularly in Chicago, where the city has been trying to lock in funding for a major expansion of O&rsquo;Hare International Airport. But the project has run into some problems at the earliest of stages.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">For years, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has been pushing for an expansion of O&rsquo;Hare Airport: $6.6 billion dollars worth of expansion. With that whopping pricetag, Daley&rsquo;s looking for some financial help from the two biggest airlines at O&rsquo;Hare: United and American.</p><p class="MsoNormal">The CEOs of those two airlines were supposed to meet with Daley behind closed doors&nbsp;Thursday, but that meeting was canceled. The airlines blamed the blizzard.</p><p class="MsoNormal">In true Daley fashion, he told reporters he thinks they&rsquo;re avoiding him.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&quot;They said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; Monday, they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; Then Tuesday they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; And Wednesday they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; Then Tuesday they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; And Wednesday they said, &ldquo;No,&rdquo;<span style=""> Daley said.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">Daley said after all those negotiations just to set up a meeting, they finally settled on a date.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&quot;I made another exception. The only time I&rsquo;ve ever made an exception in 22 years,&quot;&nbsp;Daley said. &quot;I said, &ldquo;How about that Sunday?&rdquo; And they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; I said, &ldquo;How about Monday?&rdquo; They said &ldquo;No.&rdquo; Then they&rsquo;re doing it I think Tuesday &ndash; we think so.&quot;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you&rsquo;ve lost track, that Tuesday is later in the month. It&rsquo;s one week before Chicago&rsquo;s election day. That is the first election day in 22 years that won&rsquo;t have Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s name on the ballot. So the airlines will be negotiating with a lame duck.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Daley&rsquo;s rant comes as the issue between the city and the airlines has reached a new boiling point. He says a modernized O&rsquo;Hare would secure the city&rsquo;s future as a transportation icon.</p><p class="MsoNormal">As it is, United and American account for 80 percent of daily flights at O&rsquo;Hare. More than 1,000 flights a day just between the two of them. For their part, the airlines haven&rsquo;t said much publicly. At least, not since they sued the city to stop the expansion project a few weeks ago. From their perspective, there isn&rsquo;t enough air traffic at this time to demand an O&rsquo;Hare expansion. Plus, they say O&rsquo;Hare is already one of the costliest airports in the country and making it bigger would just make it more expensive.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&quot;Everybody knows that we can&rsquo;t go back to the bad old days of the late &lsquo;90s where O&rsquo;Hare was just being avoided by travelers,&quot;&nbsp;said Joe Schwieterman, a transportation professor at DePaul University. &quot;Airlines were facing tens of millions of dollars in costs because of congestion.&quot;</p><p class="MsoNormal">Schwieterman said having only United and American involved in discussions gives them a competitive advantage. Other airlines like Southwest don&rsquo;t even look at O&rsquo;Hare, but stay focused on Midway Airport. Schwieterman said negotiations between the two sides are dicey</p><p class="MsoNormal">&quot;These are big companies, big organizations and some big egos involved,&quot;&nbsp;he said.&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">But there are at least two people who think they can manage those egos: Illinois&rsquo; two U.S. senators.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said time is of the essence.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&quot;I think some of them would wait until the delays are just intolerable and then say, &lsquo;Now lets build.&rsquo; You&rsquo;ve got to be ahead of the curve. As you&rsquo;re increasing the planes there, you have to have the infrastructure to support it,&quot;&nbsp;Durbin said.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Meantime, if the senators can&rsquo;t get the two sides to even meet face-to-face until a week before election day, that may be telling us something: that this fight over O&rsquo;Hare&rsquo;s future will fall to Chicago&rsquo;s next mayor.</p></p> Fri, 04 Feb 2011 13:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/american-airlines/daley-airlines-struggle-reach-compromise-expanding-ohare LaHood announces federal funding for new O'Hare control tower http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/lahood-announces-federal-funding-new-ohare-control-tower <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/106461867.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Federal Aviation Administration is committing $3.4 million to the design of a new air traffic control tower at O'Hare Airport.</p><p>U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the grant for the design of a South Air Traffic Control Tower, as part of the O'Hare Modernization Program. He was joined by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.</p><p>Durbin called the airport an &quot;economic engine&quot; and said the funding will lead to as many as 195,000 new jobs. &quot;For those of us who are anxious to bring jobs to Illinois and keep the jobs we have, we understand that O'Hare is literally the central nervous system,&quot; Durbin said. &quot;It is basically what we need to focus on in terms of building the strength of this local economy.&quot;</p><p>LaHood said the Department of Transportation also wants to help pay for construction of the tower. &quot;Safety is our number-one priority, and that's what this tower is about,&quot; said LaHood.</p><p>Officials said the tower will be built in time for the opening of a new runway in 2015.</p></p> Mon, 15 Nov 2010 18:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/lahood-announces-federal-funding-new-ohare-control-tower