The mayor’s office announced a deal Sunday to add five new American Airlines gates to O’Hare International Airport.
The addition will increase O’Hare’s number of gates from 189 to 194. These changes to Terminal 3 will be the airport’s first major expansion since Terminal 5 was built in 1993.
“Chicago’s economic future is linked to the success and growth of O’Hare, and the steps we are taking are part of our long-term plan to bring the airport into the 21st century,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “These new gates will help make O’Hare not only the busiest, but also the best airport in the world.”
The project, which is slated to be done by 2018, is being funded by American Airlines.
Although changes to the airport’s infrastructure have already been made, the airport still boasts some of the country’s worst delays.
“O’Hare airport is moving in to the 21st century with the addition of these gates,” Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Ginger S. Evans said in a statement. “Passengers will see fewer delays, shorter taxi times and an overall improved experience when flying to or from Chicago.”
Emanuel previously announced a deal last week between the city and major airlines to build a final runway as part of a larger plan to modernize the airport.
The $1.3 billion plan will create a new east-west runway and add new de-icing pads and taxiways.
“The agreement builds on the City’s recently announced $1.3 billion landmark infrastructure plan for O’Hare, which will help create thousands of jobs and improve the customer experience at the airport,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.