Chicago received clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration last week to use $182 million in passenger facility charges collected on airline tickets to finance design work on new and expanded runways and a western terminal that are part of the later phases of the $7.5 billion expansion at O’Hare International Airport.
The airport’s major airlines so far have signed off on paying only for the first phase for $3.3 billion that is now underway. The cash-strapped airlines have raised questions over the need for the western terminal.
City officials have suggested that a public-private partnership might be sought to fund the terminal. O’Hare Modernization Program executive director Rosemarie S. Andolino said the design elements for the OMP are now funded.
Also last week, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley named city aviation commissioner Richard Rodriguez to serve as president of the Chicago Transit Authority. Andolino will replace Rodriguez as commissioner while also retaining her responsibilities.
“Both of these individuals have proven themselves as strong and creative managers in their previous assignments with the city,” Daley said in a statement announcing the appointments.