Skift Take

The planning for the expansion of the international terminal at Chicago O'Hare isn't slated to be completed before 2017 but at least change is under way.


New Yorkers are quick to complain about the poor state of LaGuardia and Newark airports, but take a walk through Chicago O’Hare’s international terminal and you’ll quickly see who’s got it worse. T5, or the international terminal of Chicago O’Hare, is designed for a generation past. Hallways are narrow, leaving little room for passengers to walk around the terminal and there’s little space for queuing, let alone enough room for decent lounges or airport stores. In short, it’s suffocating.

That’s why it’s welcome news to hear that the City of Chicago is planning to expand T5. Announced by Mayor Emmanuel on Friday, the plan is to expand the international terminal by 25 percent, adding nine new gates, while additions to Terminal 2, now home to a mishmash of smaller airlines, are also under consideration.

According to the Sun-Timesplanning should be wrapped up in 2017, which means that construction may last well into the next decade — but hey, at least change is afoot.


We appear to be taxiing to our gate at O’Hare via Schaumburg. This airport is absurdly huge.

@jonostrower | Jon Ostrower, WSJ’s aerospace & Boeing beat reporter

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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo credit: Chicago O'Hare's international terminal will be getting spruced up. Pictured are travelers at Beaudevin, a wine bar in T1. 189681

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