O'Hare International Airport
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O'Hare International Airport

O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport Logo.svg
O'Hare from ISS 12-06-2019.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Chicago
OperatorChicago Department of Aviation
ServesChicago metropolitan area
LocationO'Hare, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OpenedFebruary 1944; 76 years ago (1944-02)[1]
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL668 ft / 204 m
Coordinates41°58?43?N 87°54?17?W / 41.97861°N 87.90472°W / 41.97861; -87.90472Coordinates: 41°58?43?N 87°54?17?W / 41.97861°N 87.90472°W / 41.97861; -87.90472
Websitewww.flychicago.com/ohare
Maps
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
ORD is located in Chicago metropolitan area
ORD
ORD
Location of airport in Chicago
ORD is located in Illinois
ORD
ORD
ORD (Illinois)
ORD is located in the United States
ORD
ORD
ORD (the United States)
ORD is located in North America
ORD
ORD
ORD (North America)
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4L/22R 7,500 2,286 Asphalt
4R/22L 8,075 2,461 Asphalt
9L/27R 7,500 2,286 Concrete
9C/27C 11,245 3,428 Concrete (November 2020)
9R/27L 7,967 2,428 Asphalt/Concrete
10R/28L 7,500 2,286 Concrete
10C/28C 10,801 3,292 Concrete
10L/28R 13,000 3,962 Asphalt/Concrete
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 200 61 Concrete
Statistics (2019)
Passenger volume84,649,115
Aircraft movements919,704
Cargo (metric tons)1,788,000.7
Economic impact$39 billion
Source: O'Hare International Airport[2]

O'Hare International Airport (IATA: ORD, ICAO: KORD, FAA LID: ORD), typically referred to as O'Hare Airport, Chicago O'Hare, or simply O'Hare, is an international airport located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, 14 miles (23 km) northwest of the Loop business district. Operated by the Chicago Department of Aviation[3] and covering 7,627 acres (3,087 ha),[4] O'Hare has non-stop flights to 228 destinations in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania as of 2018.[5][6]

Designed to be the successor to Chicago's "busiest square mile in the world", O'Hare began as an airfield serving a Douglas manufacturing plant for C-54 military transports during World War II. It was named after Edward "Butch" O'Hare, the U.S. Navy's first Medal of Honor recipient during that war.[7] As the first major airport planned after World War II, O'Hare's innovative design pioneered concepts such as concourses, direct highway access to the terminal, jet bridges, and underground refueling systems.[8]

O'Hare became famous as the first World's Busiest Airport of the jet age, holding that distinction from 1963 to 1998; today, it is the world's sixth-busiest airport, serving 83 million passengers in 2018.[9] In 2019, O'Hare had 919,704 aircraft operations, averaging 2,520 per day, the most of any airport in the world in part because of a large number of regional flights.[10] O'Hare serves as a major hub for both United Airlines (which is headquartered in Willis Tower) and American Airlines.[11][12] It is also a focus city for Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines.[13][14]

History

Establishment and defense efforts

Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat on display in O'Hare's Terminal 2, restored in the markings of "Butch" O'Hare's plane

Not long after the opening of what was then called Chicago Municipal Airport in 1926, the City of Chicago realized that additional airport capacity would be needed in the future. The city government investigated various potential airport sites during the 1930s, but made little progress prior to America's entry into World War II.[7]

O'Hare's place in aviation began with a manufacturing plant for Douglas C-54 Skymasters during World War II. The site was then known as Orchard Place, and had previously been a small German-American farming community. The 2 million square feet (190,000 m2) plant, located in the northeast corner of what is now the airport property, needed easy access to the workforce of the nation's second-largest city, as well as its extensive railroad infrastructure and location far from enemy threat. Some 655 C-54s were built at the plant, more than half of all produced. The attached airfield, from which the completed planes were flown out, was known simply as Douglas Airport; initially, it had four 5,500-foot (1,700 m) runways.[7] Less known is the fact that it was the location of the Army Air Force's 803rd Specialized Depot,[15] a unit charged with storing many captured enemy aircraft; a few representatives of this collection would eventually be transferred to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.[16][17]

Douglas Company's contract ended with the war's conclusion and, though consideration was given to building commercial aircraft at Orchard, the company ultimately chose to concentrate commercial production at its original headquarters in Santa Monica, California.[7] With the departure of Douglas, the complex took the name of Orchard Field Airport, and was assigned the IATA code ORD.[18]

The United States Air Force used the field extensively during the Korean War, at which time there was still no scheduled commercial service at the airport. Although not its primary base in the area, the Air Force used O'Hare as an active fighter base; it was home to the 62nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron flying North American F-86 Sabres from 1950 to 1959.[19] By 1960, the need for O'Hare as an active duty fighter base was diminishing, just as commercial business was picking up at the airport. The Air Force removed active-duty units from O'Hare and turned the station over to Continental Air Command, enabling them to base reserve and Air National Guard units there.[20] As a result of a 1993 agreement between the City and the Department of Defense, the reserve based was closed on April 1, 1997, ending its career as the home of the 928th Airlift Wing and of the 126th Air Refueling Wing in 1999. At that time, the remaining 357-acre (144 ha) site came under the ownership of the Chicago Department of Aviation.[21]

Early commercial development

In 1945, Chicago mayor Edward Kelly established a formal board to choose the site of a new facility to meet future aviation demands. After considering various proposals, the board decided upon the Orchard Field site, and acquired most of the federal government property in March 1946. The military retained a relatively small parcel of property on the site, and the rights to use 25% of the airfield's operating capacity for free.[7]

Ralph H. Burke devised an airport master plan based on the pioneering idea of what he called "split finger terminals", allowing a terminal building to be attached to "airline wings" (concourses), each providing space for gates and planes. (Pre-war airport designs had favored ever-larger single terminals, exemplified by Berlin's Tempelhof.) Burke's design also included underground refueling, direct highway access to the front of terminals, and direct rail access from downtown, all of which are utilized at airports worldwide today.[22] O'Hare was the site of the world's first jet bridge in 1958,[23][24] and successfully adapted slip form paving, developed for the nation's new Interstate highway system, for seamless concrete runways.

In 1949, the City renamed the facility O'Hare Airport to honor Edward "Butch" O'Hare, the U.S. Navy's first flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II.[25] Its IATA code (ORD) remained unchanged, however, resulting in O'Hare being one of the few IATA codes bearing no connection to the airport's name or metropolitan area.[18]

Arrival of passenger service and subsequent growth

Scheduled passenger service began in 1955,[26] but growth was slow at first. Although Chicago had invested over $25 million in O'Hare, Midway remained the world's busiest airport and airlines were reluctant to move until highway access and other improvements were completed.[27] The April 1957 Official Airline Guide listed 36 weekday departures from the airport, while Midway coped with 414. Improvements began to attract the airlines: O'Hare's first dedicated international terminal opened in August 1958, and by April 1959 the airport had expanded to 7,200 acres (2,900 ha) with new hangars, terminals, parking and other facilities. The expressway link to downtown Chicago, now known as the Kennedy Expressway, was completed in 1960.[26] And new Terminals2 and3, designed by C. F. Murphy and Associates, opened on January 1, 1962.[28]

But the biggest factor driving the airlines to O'Hare from Midway was the jet airliner; the first scheduled jet at O'Hare was an American 707 from New York to Chicago to San Francisco on March 22, 1959.[29] One-mile-square Midway did not have space for the runways that 707s and DC-8s required. Airlines had been reluctant to move to O'Hare, but they were equally unwilling to split operations between the two airports: in July 1962 the last fixed-wing scheduled airline flight in Chicago moved from Midway to O'Hare. From July 1962 until United returned in July 1964, Midway's only scheduled airline was Chicago Helicopter. The arrival of Midway's traffic quickly made O'Hare the world's busiest airport, serving 10 million passengers annually. Within two years that number would double, with Chicagoans proudly boasting that more people passed through O'Hare in 12 months than Ellis Island had processed in its entire existence. O'Hare remained the world's busiest airport until 1998.

Post-deregulation developments

Reconstructed Brachiosaurus skeleton, formerly in the Field Museum, exhibited at the airport since 1999

In the 1980s, after passage of US airline deregulation, the first major change at O'Hare occurred when TWA left Chicago for St. Louis as its main mid-continent hub.[30] Although TWA had a large hangar complex at O'Hare and had started Constellation nonstops to Paris in 1958, by the time of deregulation its operation was losing $25 million a year under intense competition from United and American.[31]Northwest likewise ceded O'Hare to the competition and shifted to a Minneapolis and Detroit-centered network by the early 1990s after acquiring Republic Airlines in 1986.[32]Delta maintained a Chicago hub for some time, even commissioning a new ConcourseL in 1983.[33] Ultimately, Delta found competing from an inferior position at O'Hare too expensive and closed its Chicago hub in the 1990s, concentrating its upper Midwest operations at Cincinnati.

The dominant hubs established at O'Hare in the 1980s by United and American continue to operate today. United developed a new two-concourse Terminal1 (dubbed "The Terminal for Tomorrow"), designed by Helmut Jahn. It was built between 1985 and 1987 on the site of the original Terminal1; the structure, which includes 50 gates, is best known for its curved glass forms and the connecting underground passage between ConcoursesB andC.[34] American renovated and expanded its existing facilities in Terminal3 from 1987 to 1990; those renovations feature a flag-lined entrance hall to ConcoursesH/K.[35][35]

The demolition of the original Terminal 1 in 1984 to make way for Jahn's design forced a "temporary" relocation of international flights into facilities called "Terminal4" on the ground floor of the airport's central parking garage. International passengers were then bused to and from their aircraft. Relocation finally ended with the completion of the 21-gate International Terminal in 1993 (now called Terminal5); it contains all customs facilities. Its location, on the site of the original cargo area and east of the terminal core, necessitated the construction of the Airport Transit System people-mover, which connected the terminal core with the new terminal as well as remote rental and parking lots.[33]

Following deregulation and the buildup of the American and United hubs, O'Hare faced increasing delays from the late 1980s onward due to its inefficient runway layout; the airfield had remained unchanged since the addition of its last new runway (4R/22L) in 1971.[36] O'Hare's three pairs of angled runways were meant to allow takeoffs into the wind, but they came at a cost: the various intersecting runways were both dangerous and inefficient. Official reports at the end of the 1990s ranked O'Hare as one of the worst performing airports in the United States based on the percentage of delayed flights.[37] In 2001, the Chicago Department of Aviation committed to an O'Hare Modernization Plan (OMP). Initially estimated at $6.6 billion, the OMP was to be paid by bonds issued against the increase in the federal passenger facility charge enacted that year as well as federal airport improvement funds.[38] The modernization plan was approved by the FAA in October 2005 and involved a complete reconfiguration of the airfield. The OMP included the construction of four new runways, the lengthening of two existing runways, and the decommissioning of three old runways to provide O'Hare with six parallel runways and two crosswind runways.[39]

The OMP was the subject of lengthy legal battles, both with suburbs who feared the new layout's noise implications as well as with survivors of persons interred in a cemetery the city proposed to relocate; some of the cases were not resolved until 2011.[40] These, plus the reduction in traffic as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, delayed the OMP's completion; construction of the sixth and final parallel runway (9C/27C)[41] began in 2016. Its completion in November of 2020, along with an extension of runway 9R/27L scheduled to be complete in 2021, will conclude the OMP.[42] Although construction continues, peak capacity (number of operations/hour) has already increased by 50% and total (all weather) system delays reduced by 57%;[43] after completion of the first two phases of the OMP, on-time arrivals improved from 67.6% to 80.8%.[44] By 2017, O'Hare ranked 14th in on-time performance of the top 30 U.S. airports.[45] Costs of the O'Hare Modernization Plan had risen, by 2019, beyond $10 billion.[46]

The large consolidating mergers in the airline industry from 2008 to 2014 left O'Hare's domestic operations simplified: the airport found itself primarily with United mainline in Terminal1, United Express, Air Canada and Delta in Terminal2, and American and smaller carriers in Terminal3.

Future

In 2018, the city and airlines committed to PhaseI of a new Terminal Area Plan dubbed O'Hare (or ORD) 21.[47] It marks the first comprehensive redevelopment and expansion of the terminal core in O'Hare's history. ORD21 will enable same-terminal transfers between international and domestic flights, faster connections, improved facilities and technology for TSA and customs inspections and much larger landside amenities like shopping and restaurants. A principal feature of the plan is the reorganization of the terminal core into an "alliance hub", the first in North America; airside connections and layout will be optimized around airline alliances. This will be made possible by the construction of the O'Hare Global Terminal (OGT) where Terminal2 currently stands. The OGT and two new satellite concourses will allow for expansion for both American's and United's international operations as well as easy interchange with their respective Oneworld (American) and Star Alliance (United) partner carriers, eliminating the need to exit the secured airside, ride the Airport Transit System, and re-clear security at Terminal5. Under the reconfiguration, United and its Star Alliance partners will utilize Terminal1 and the OGT, American and its Oneworld partners will use the OGT and Terminal3, and Delta and its SkyTeam partners, as well as non-affiliated carriers, will relocate to Terminal5.

The plan is set to add over 3 million square feet (280,000 m2) to the airport's terminals, a new customs processing center in the OGT, reconstruction of gates and concourses (new concourses will be a minimum of 150 feet (46 m) wide), increase the gate count from 185 to 235, and provide 25% more ramp space at every gate throughout the airport to accommodate larger aircraft.[48] Since construction of the OGT cannot interfere with ongoing operations, it is scheduled to take place in stages, with the first step (scheduled to begin 2020) being to dig the tunnel that will connect the terminal core with two new satellite concourses.[49] Demolition of Terminal2 and the subsequent construction of the OGT can proceed only after the completion of the two new satellite concourses, which will provide the gates lost by the demolition of Terminal2. By terms of the agreement, total costs of $8.5 billion (2019 dollars) for ORD21 are to be borne by bonds issued by the city, which will be retired by airport usage fees paid by the airlines. ORD21 is scheduled for completion in 2028.[50]

Construction has begun on the first major phase of ORD21, the expansion of Terminal5, to be substantially completed in 2022. This expansion will not only add ten gates and passenger amenities, but will also convert Terminal5 into a mixed domestic/international terminal in preparation for Delta/SkyTeam's relocation, scheduled for 2022, and the construction of the OGT.

After an international design competition that featured public voting on five final architectural proposals, the Studio ORD group, led by architect Jeanne Gang, was selected to design the OGT,[51][52] while Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP will design Satellites1 and2.[53]

Facilities

Airplanes at O'Hare

O'Hare has four numbered passenger terminals with nine lettered concourses and a total of 191 gates. [54] American Airlines operates 71 gates while United Airlines operates an additional ten gates (81).

Terminal 1

United Airlines Terminal 1, Concourse B

Terminal 1, containing Concourses B & C, is home to the United Airlines hub, including all mainline flights and some United Express operations, as well as some departures for Star Alliance partners Lufthansa and ANA.

Concourses B and C are linear concourses located in separate buildings parallel to each other. ConcourseB is adjacent to the airport roadway and houses passenger check-in, baggage claim, and security screenings on its landside and aircraft gates on its airside. ConcourseC is a satellite terminal with gates on all sides, in the middle of the ramp, and is connected to ConcourseB via an underground pedestrian tunnel under the ramp. The tunnel originates between gatesB8 andB9 in ConcourseB, and ends on ConcourseC between gates C17 and C19. The tunnel is illuminated with a neon installation titled Sky's the Limit (1987) by Canadian artist Michael Hayden, which plays an airy, slow-tempo version of Rhapsody in Blue.[55]

United operates three United Clubs in Terminal 1. For premium international passengers, United operates a Polaris Lounge and a United Arrivals Suite.[56]

Terminal 1 consists of 50 gates on two concourses: Concourse B (22 gates) and Concourse C (28 gates).

Terminal 2

Terminal 2, containing Concourses E & F, houses Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta and Delta Connection domestic flights, JetBlue,[57] and most United Express operations (although United check-ins take place in Terminal1). The terminal contains a Delta Sky Club and a United Club.

Terminal 2 consists of 41 gates on two concourses: Concourse E (17 gates) and Concourse F (24 gates).

Terminal 3

American Airlines Terminal 3 Main Hall

Terminal 3, containing Concourses G, H, K & L, houses the American hub included arriving and departing mainline and American Eagle flights, as well as departures for Oneworld carriers Iberia and Japan Airlines and unaffiliated carriers.

Concourses G and L house most American Eagle operated flights, while ConcoursesH andK house American's mainline operations. American's Oneworld partners Japan Airlines and Iberia depart from K19 or K16. ConcourseL is also used by non-affiliated airlines Air Choice One, Cape Air, and Spirit.[58] A new "stinger" extension of ConcourseL, with five new American regional gates, opened to service in May 2018.[59]

American has three Admirals Club locations in Terminal3. For premium international passengers, American operates a Flagship Lounge.[60]

Terminal 3 consists of 79 gates on four concourses: Concourse G (24 gates), Concourse H (18 gates), Concourse K (16 gates) and Concourse L (21 gates).

Terminal 5

Terminal 5, containing one concourse, Concourse M (21 gates), houses all of O'Hare's international arrivals (excluding flights with Air Canada, American and United from airports with U.S. border preclearance). Other destinations with preclearance, including flights operated by Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways, arrive at Terminal5 but are treated as domestic arrivals. With the exception of select Star Alliance and Oneworld flights that board from Terminal1 or Terminal3 respectively, all non-U.S. carriers except Air Canada depart from Terminal5. Terminal5 is separated from the other terminals by a set of taxiways that cross over the airport's access road, requiring passengers to exit security, ride a shuttle bus, and then re-clear security before boarding.

The first effects of ORD21 can be seen by developments at Terminal5: in 2018, Frontier Airlines became the first domestic carrier to move operations to Terminal5, and the expansion of Terminal5 began in March 2019 at the eastern end of ConcourseM.[61] It is not expected to interfere with passenger operations.[62]

Several airlines have lounges in Terminal 5, including Air France - KLM, British Airways, Korean Air, SAS, and SWISS; there is also a multi-carrier Swissport Lounge. The airport's U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility is located on the arrival (lower) level.

Runways

O'Hare has two sets of parallel runways, one on either side of the terminal complex. The north airfield has two parallel east-west runways (9L/27R and 9R/27L), with 9C/27C scheduled for completion in 2020. The south airfield, where the O'Hare Modernization Program is largely complete, has three parallel east-west runways (10L/28R, 10C/28C, and 10R/28L). Two parallel runways are oriented northeast-southwest (4R/22L, 4L/22R), one on each side of the airport. The north crosswind runway, 4L/22R, intersects 9R/27L and forthcoming 9C/27C, limiting its use;[63] however, runway 22L is often used for takeoffs during what is called "west flow" on the main runways. The airfield is managed by three ground control towers. O'Hare has a voluntary nighttime (22:00-07:00) noise abatement program.[64]

Ground transportation

Currently, passengers are shuttled between the terminal core (Terminals 1 - 3), Terminal5, and the remote lots and new Multi-Modal Facility (MMF) via free shuttle buses; buses board on the lower level of each terminal and run every 5-10 minutes, 24 hours a day. The Bus Shuttle center, located on the main floor of the parking garage opposite terminals 1-3, provides a temporary boarding location for local hotel shuttles and regional public transport buses.[65] The new MMF opened in October 2018 and is the home of all on-airport car rental firms as well as some extended parking.[66] In addition, the Chicago-area commuter rail system, Metra, has a transfer station of its North Central Service (NCS) located at the northeast corner of the MMF; however, the NCS currently operates an occasional schedule on weekdays only.[67]

Normally, such transfers would be made using the 2.5 mi (4.0 km)-long automated Airport Transit System (ATS), which connects all four terminals landside and the rental and remote parking lots. However, the ATS is undergoing a $310 million modernization and expansion that includes replacing the existing 15-car fleet with 36 new Bombardier vehicles, upgrading the previous infrastructure, and extending the line 2,000 feet (610 m) to the MMF.[68][69] The ATS was removed from service on January 8, 2019 to allow for completion and testing of the project.[70] Originally slated for completion in September 2019, the re-opening date of the ATS has been pushed back several times, and as of September 2020 the system remains out of service while daily testing is conducted.[71]

The CTA Blue Line's north terminus is at O'Hare Pictograms-nps-airport.svg and provides direct service to downtown via the Milwaukee-Dearborn subway in the Loop and continuing to west suburban Forest Park. Trains depart at intervals ranging from every four to thirty minutes, 24 hours a day.[72] The station is located on the lower level of the parking garage, and can be accessed directly from Terminals1-3 via tunnel and from Terminal5 via shuttle bus.

O'Hare is directly served by Interstate 190, which offers interchanges with Mannheim Road (U.S. 12 and 45), the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294), and Interstate 90. I-90 continues as the Kennedy Expressway into downtown Chicago and becomes the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway northwest to Rockford and the Wisconsin state line.

Hotel

The Hilton Chicago O'Hare is between the terminal core and parking garage and is currently the only hotel on airport property. It is owned by the Chicago Department of Aviation and operated under an agreement with Hilton Hotels, who extended their agreement with the city by ten years in 2018.[73]

Cargo facilities

There are presently two main cargo areas at O'Hare. The South Cargo Area was relocated in the 1980s from the airport's first air cargo facilities, which were located east of the terminal core, where Terminal5 now stands. Many of the structures in this new cargo area then had to be rebuilt, again, to allow for the OMP and specifically runway 10R/28L; as a result, what is now called the South Cargo Area is located between 10R/28L and 10C/28C. This large collection of facilities, in three sections (Southwest, South Central, and Southeast), were established mainly by traditional airline-based air cargo; Air France Cargo, American, JAL Cargo, KLM, Lufthansa Cargo, Northwest and United all built purpose-built, freestanding cargo facilities,[74] although some of these are now leased out to dedicated cargo firms. In addition, the area contains two separate facilities for shipper FedEx and one for UPS.[74]

The Northeast Cargo Area (NEC) is a conversion of the former military base (the Douglas plant area) at the northeast corner of the airport property. It is a new facility designed to increase O'Hare's cargo capacity by 50%. Two buildings currently make up the NEC: a 540,000 square feet (50,000 m2) building completed in 2016,[75] and a 240,000 square feet (22,000 m2) building that was completed in 2017.[76] A third structure will complete the NEC with another 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) of warehouse space.[77]

The current capability of the cargo areas provide 2 million square feet (190,000 m2) of airside cargo space with parking for 40 wide-body freighters matched with over 2 million square feet (190,000 m2) of landside warehousing capability. O'Hare shipped over 1,700,000 tonnes (1,900,000 short tons) in 2018, fifth among airports in the U.S.[78]

Other facilities

The USO offers two facilities: one open 24 hours and located before security in Terminal2, and an additional site behind security in Terminal3, open 06:00-22:30 daily. Each offers meals, refreshments, TV and quiet rooms, and internet access. Active duty military personnel and their families, as well as new recruits going to Recruit Training Command, are welcome.[79]

The large Postal Service processing facility at O'Hare is located at the far south end of the airfield along Irving Park Road. Being on secured airfield property, it is not open to the public. USPS drop locations are provided in Terminals1, 3and5.

In 2011, O'Hare became the first major airport to build an apiary on its property; every summer, it hosts as many as 75 hives and a million bees. The bees are maintained by 30 to 40 ex-offenders with little to no work experience and few marketable skills; they are primarily recruited from Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood. They are taught beekeeping but also benefit from the bees' labor, turning it into bottled fresh honey, soaps, lip balms, candles and moisturizers marketed under the beelove product line.[80][81] More than 500 persons have completed the program, transferring to jobs in manufacturing, food processing, customer service, and hospitality; the repeat-offender rate is reported to be less than 10%.[82]

O'Hare has used livestock since 2013 in its Sustainable Vegetation Management initiative to control vegetation in 11.5 acres (4.7 ha) of hard-to-reach areas such as steep banks along a creek on the airport property. A mix of goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, and even a donkey named Jackson control buckthorn, garlic mustard, ragweed and various other invasive species. The livestock not only help with vegetation removal and control, but also reduce hiding and nesting places for birds (an aircraft operation hazard), all without any food expense or environmental damage.[83]

Airlines and destinations

Passenger

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
Aer Lingus Dublin [84]
Aeroméxico Guadalajara, Mexico City [85]
Air Canada Express Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver [86]
Air Choice One Burlington (IA), Mason City [87]
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle [88]
Air India Delhi (ends March 27, 2021)[89][90]
Air New Zealand Auckland [91]
Alaska Airlines Los Angeles, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Anchorage
[92]
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome-Fiumicino [93]
All Nippon Airways Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita [94]
American Airlines Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Cancún, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hartford, Houston-Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa, Toronto-Pearson, Tucson, Washington-National, West Palm Beach
Seasonal: Anchorage, Aruba, Athens, Barcelona, Bozeman, Columbus-Glenn, Cozumel, Dublin, Eagle/Vail, Grand Cayman, Guatemala City, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Honolulu, Jackson Hole, Montego Bay, Nassau, Palm Springs, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Rome-Fiumicino, St. Lucia-Hewanorra, St. Thomas, San José del Cabo, Vancouver
[95]
American Eagle Akron/Canton, Albany, Albuquerque, Allentown, Appleton, Asheville, Baltimore, Bangor, Birmingham (AL), Bloomington/Normal, Buffalo, Calgary, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Champaign/Urbana, Charleston (SC), Charlottesville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbia (MO), Columbus-Glenn, Dayton, Des Moines, Detroit, Dubuque, El Paso, Erie, Evansville, Fargo, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Flint, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Harrisburg, Hartford, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville (FL), Joplin, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Knoxville, La Crosse, Lansing, Lexington, Little Rock, Louisville, Madison, Manchester (NH), Manhattan (KS), Marquette, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Moline/Quad Cities, Montréal-Trudeau, Mosinee/Wausau, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Peoria, Pittsburgh, Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Rapid City, Richmond, Rochester (MN), Rochester (NY), St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Springfield/Branson, State College, Syracuse, Toledo, Toronto-Pearson, Traverse City, Tulsa, Washington-National, Waterloo (IA), White Plains, Wichita, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Seasonal: Aspen, Atlanta, Boise, Bozeman, Burlington (VT), Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Glacier Park/Kalispell, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Hilton Head, Key West, Missoula, Montrose, Myrtle Beach, Panama City (FL), Pensacola (FL), Portland (ME), Québec City, Savannah, Wilmington (NC)
[96]
Austrian Airlines Vienna [97]
British Airways London-Heathrow [98]
Boutique Air Ironwood [99]
Cape Air Manistee (begins October 1, 2020),[100]Quincy [101]
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong [102]
China Eastern Airlines Shanghai-Pudong [103]
Copa Airlines Panama City [104]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma [105]
Delta Connection Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, New York-JFK, Raleigh/Durham [105]
El Al Tel Aviv (resumes March 13, 2021)[106][107]
Emirates Dubai-International [108]
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa1 [109]
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi [110]
EVA Air Taipei-Taoyuan [111]
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki [112]
Frontier Airlines Cancún, Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Miami, Newark, Orlando, Pensacola, Philadelphia, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Punta Cana, San Juan, Sarasota, Tampa
Seasonal: Austin, El Paso, Jacksonville (FL), Nashville, Puerto Vallarta, Syracuse, Trenton
[113]
Hainan Airlines Beijing-Capital, Chengdu [114]
Iberia Madrid [115]
Icelandair Reykjavík-Keflavík [116]
Interjet Guadalajara, Mexico City [117]
Japan Airlines Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita (resumes February 15, 2021)[118][119]
JetBlue Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York-JFK, West Palm Beach (begins October 1, 2020)[120][121]
KLM Amsterdam [122]
Korean Air Seoul-Incheon [123]
LOT Polish Airlines Kraków, Warsaw-Chopin[124]
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich [125]
Seasonal: Barcelona, London-Gatwick, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino [126]
Qatar Airways Doha [127]
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia [128]
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Stockholm-Arlanda [129]
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Cancún, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston-Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Orlando, San Diego, Tampa
Seasonal: Boston, Myrtle Beach, Oakland, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Raleigh/Durham, Seattle/Tacoma
[130]
Sun Country Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul [131]
Zurich [132]
TAP Air Portugal Lisbon [133]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul [134]
United Airlines Albany, Amsterdam, Aruba, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Beijing-Capital, Belize City, Boston, Bozeman, Brussels, Buffalo, Calgary, Cancún, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus-Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Duluth, Eugene (OR), Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Frankfurt, Fresno, Grand Rapids, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hong Kong (resumes November 1, 2020),[135]Honolulu, Houston-Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kahului, Kansas City, Las Vegas, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madison, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Munich, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Norfolk, Omaha, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Philadelphia, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Rochester (NY), Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Santa Barbara (resumes November 1, 2020),[136]São Paulo-Guarulhos, Sarasota, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai-Pudong, Spokane, Syracuse, Tampa, Tel Aviv, Tokyo-Haneda, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, Washington-Dulles, Washington-National, West Palm Beach, Zurich (begins November 1, 2020)[135]
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Anchorage, Boise, Bozeman, Burlington (VT), Cozumel, Dublin, Eagle/Vail, Edinburgh, Fairbanks, Glacier Park/Kalispell, Grand Cayman, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Jackson Hole, Jacksonville (FL), Liberia, Montego Bay, Montrose, Myrtle Beach, Nassau, Palm Springs, Pensacola (FL), Portland (ME), Providence, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Rapid City, Reno/Tahoe, Rome-Fiumicino, St. Lucia-Hewanorra, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San José de Costa Rica, San José del Cabo, Savannah, Traverse City, Tucson
[137]
United Express Akron/Canton, Albany, Albuquerque, Allentown, Appleton, Asheville, Atlanta, Bangor, Birmingham (AL), Bismarck, Boise, Boston, Buffalo, Burlington (VT), Calgary, Cape Girardeau, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Charlotte, Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Clarksburg (WV), Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbia (MO), Columbia (SC), Columbus-Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dayton, Decatur, Des Moines, Detroit, Duluth, Durango, Eau Claire, El Paso, Erie, Eugene, Evansville, Fargo, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Flint, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Harrisburg, Hartford, Houghton, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jackson (MS), Jackson Hole, Jacksonville (FL), Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Knoxville, Lansing, Lewisburg (WV), Lexington, Lincoln, Little Rock, Louisville, Madison, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Moline/Quad Cities, Monterrey, Montréal-Trudeau, Mosinee/Wausau, Muskegon, Nashville, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Norfolk, Ogdensburg, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ottawa, Paducah, Pensacola (FL), Peoria, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Rapid City, Richmond, Roanoke, Rochester (MN), Rochester (NY), Saginaw, St. Louis, Salina, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Sarasota, Savannah, Shenandoah Valley, Sioux Falls, South Bend, Springfield (IL), Springfield/Branson, State College, Syracuse, Toronto-Pearson, Traverse City, Tri-Cities (WA) (begins November 1, 2020),[136]Tucson, Tulsa, Washington-Dulles, Washington-National, Watertown (SD), White Plains, Wichita, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Wilmington (NC), Winnipeg
Seasonal: Aspen, Billings, Cody, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fresno, Glacier Park/Kalispell, Grand Junction, Great Falls, Gunnison/Crested Butte, Halifax, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Hilton Head, Key West (resumes October 1, 2020),[138]Missoula, Montrose, Myrtle Beach, Nassau, Palm Springs, Panama City (FL), Québec City, Redmond/Bend, Reno/Tahoe, Sun Valley
[137]
VivaAerobus Seasonal: Guadalajara, León/Del Bajío, Monterrey, Morelia, Zacatecas [139]
Volaris Guadalajara, León/Del Bajío, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Querétaro
Seasonal: Huatulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta
[140]

Notes:

  • ^1 : Ethiopian Airlines' flight from Addis Ababa to O'Hare stops at Dublin,[141] but the flight from O'Hare to Addis Ababa is direct.

Cargo

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
AeroUnion Mexico City
AirBridgeCargo Airlines Amsterdam, Dallas/Fort Worth, Frankfurt, Houston-Intercontinental, Luxembourg, Moscow-Domodedovo [142]
Air China Cargo Anchorage, Beijing-Capital, Frankfurt, New York-JFK, Shanghai-Pudong, Tianjin
Air France Cargo Dublin, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Prestwick
ANA Cargo Tokyo-Narita [143]
Asiana Cargo Anchorage, Atlanta, New York-JFK, Seoul-Incheon, Seattle/Tacoma
ASL Airlines Belgium Liège
Atlas Air Anchorage, Miami, Seoul-Incheon
Cargolux Anchorage, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Hong Kong, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, New York-JFK, Zhengzhou
Cathay Pacific Cargo Anchorage, Hong Kong, New York-JFK, Portland (OR)
China Airlines Cargo Anchorage, Houston-Intercontinental, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma
China Cargo Airlines Anchorage, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth
China Southern Cargo Shanghai-Pudong [144]
DHL Aviation Anchorage, Calgary, Cincinnati, Newark, New York-JFK
Emirates SkyCargo Maastricht [145]
EVA Air Cargo Anchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth, Taipei-Taoyuan
FedEx Express Fort Worth/Alliance, Greensboro, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Newark, Oakland, Seattle/Tacoma, Pittsburgh
Korean Air Cargo Anchorage, Halifax, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Toronto-Pearson
LATAM Cargo Santiago [146]
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw-Chopin
Lufthansa Cargo Anchorage, Atlanta, Frankfurt, Guadalajara, Los Angeles, Manchester (UK), Mexico City, New York-JFK [147]
Nippon Cargo Airlines Anchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth, Edmonton, Los Angeles, New York-JFK [148][149]
Qantas Freight Anchorage, Auckland, Chongqing, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Sydney [150][151][152][153]
Qatar Airways Cargo Amsterdam, Doha, Los Angeles, Milan-Malpensa [154][155][156]
Silk Way Airlines Baku [157]
Anchorage, Atlanta, Brussels, Chennai Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma [158]
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk, Maastricht, Shannon, Toronto-Pearson [159][160]
UPS Airlines Cologne/Bonn, Columbus-Rickenbacker, Dallas/Fort Worth, Louisville, Miami, Philadelphia, Portland (OR)
Yangtze River Express Anchorage, Shanghai-Pudong

Statistics

Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from ORD
(July 2019 - June 2020)
[161]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Los Angeles, California 1,021,000 Alaska, American, Spirit, United
2 New York-LaGuardia, New York 1,014,000 American, Delta, Spirit, United
3 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 856,000 American, Spirit, United
4 Denver, Colorado 796,000 American, Frontier, Spirit, United
5 San Francisco, California 751,000 Alaska, American, United
6 Boston, Massachusetts 676,000 American, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit, United
7 Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Arizona 640,000 American, Frontier, Spirit, United
8 Atlanta, Georgia 640,000 American, Delta, Spirit, United
9 Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota 598,000 American, Delta, Sun Country, United
10 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 586,000 Alaska, American, Delta, Spirit, United
Busiest international routes to and from ORD (2016)[162]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 London-Heathrow 1,037,444 American, British Airways, United
2 Toronto-Pearson 887,663 Air Canada, American, United
3 Tokyo-Narita 685,067 All Nippon, American, JAL, United
4 Frankfurt 607,328 Lufthansa, United
5 Cancún 522,129 American, Frontier, Spirit, United
6 Mexico City 488,015 Aeroméxico, Interjet, United, Volaris
7 Beijing-Capital 413,448 Hainan, United
8 Shanghai-Pudong 412,485 China Eastern, United
9 Dublin 397,559 Aer Lingus, American, United
10 Montréal-Trudeau 393,089 Air Canada, American, United

Airline market share

Top Airlines at ORD
(March 2019 - February 2020)[161]
Rank Airline Passengers Percent of market share
1 United Airlines 21,465,000 31.25%
2 American Airlines 17,914,000 26.08%
3 Envoy Air 6,197,000 9.02%
4 SkyWest Airlines 6,039,000 8.79%
5 Spirit Airlines 3,266,000 4.75%

Annual traffic

Traffic by calendar year[163]
Year Passenger volume Change over previous year Aircraft operations Cargo tonnage
2000 72,144,244 Decrease00.64% 908,989 1,640,524
2001 67,448,064 Decrease06.51% 911,917 1,413,834
2002 66,565,952 Decrease01.31% 922,817 1,436,386
2003 69,508,672 Increase04.40% 928,691 1,601,736
2004 75,533,822 Increase08.67% 992,427 1,685,808
2005 76,581,146 Increase01.38% 972,248 1,701,446
2006 76,282,212 Decrease00.30% 958,643 1,718,011
2007 76,182,025 Decrease00.15% 926,973 1,690,742
2008 70,819,015 Decrease07.03% 881,566 1,480,847
2009 64,397,782 Decrease09.07% 827,899 1,198,426
2010 67,026,191 Increase03.83% 882,617 1,577,048
2011 66,790,996 Decrease00.35% 878,798 1,505,218
2012 66,834,931 Increase00.04% 878,108 1,443,569
2013 66,909,638 Increase00.12% 883,287 1,434,377
2014 70,075,204 Increase04.45% 881,933 1,578,330
2015 76,949,336 Increase09.81% 875,136 1,742,501
2016 77,960,588 Increase01.31% 867,635 1,726,362
2017 79,828,183 Increase02.40% 867,049 1,950,137
2018 83,339,186[2] Increase04.40% 903,747 1,868,880
2019 84,649,115 Increase01.69% 919,704 1,788,001

Major accidents and incidents

The following is a list of major crashes or incidents that occurred to planes at O'Hare, on approach, or just after takeoff from the airport:[164]

Trains

See also

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