FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines Chairman Don Carty today applauded Wednesday’s agreement between Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Illinois Gov. George Ryan that will pave the way for a dramatic and long-awaited expansion of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
“This is a great day indeed for commercial aviation in Chicago, the United States and, in fact, throughout the world,” said Carty. ” With this agreement between Mayor Daley and Gov. Ryan, the true potential of one of the great airports in the world can now be realized.”
The agreement on the $6.6 billion project means that O’Hare would be expanded to include eight new or reconfigured runways and a new west entrance. Its terminal facilities would also be renovated. When finished, in 15 to 20 years, the project would expand O’Hare’s capacity to 1.6 million flights a year from its current level of about 900,000.
“It is to their personal credit that Mayor Daley and Gov. Ryan have been able to reach this agreement for the benefit of the state of Illinois and of the entire Midwest,” Carty said. “Many people have been struggling for years to create what will become the centerpiece of U.S. aviation. We at American are gratified to see this day arrive. We’ve been strong advocates of new and reconfigured runways at O’Hare for the past decade, and we are eager for the work to get under way.”
Carty also commended Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sens. Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley of Iowa, and Rep. Bill Lipinski of Chicago for their support and leadership of the effort to modernize O’Hare. And finally, Carty cited the important contributions of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Midwest Aviation Coalition.