For Immediate Release

February 19, 2003
Contact: Tony Molinaro, Monique Bond
Phone: (847) 294-7427, (773) 686-3700

CHICAGO, Feb. 19, 2003 — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Chicago Department of Aviation will simultaneously host public outreach sessions on Wednesday, March 19, to update the general public on the environmental analysis process and planning efforts completed at this time for the O’Hare Modernization Program. Representatives from the FAA will be available to offer an update on its continuing development of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed improvements at the airport. The purpose of the EIS is to investigate, analyze, and disclose the potential impacts of the proposed airport project and its reasonable alternatives.

Representatives from the Chicago Department of Aviation will be available to offer information on its draft Airport Layout Plan, on its analysis of runway options, on its facility requirements, and on its concept for development of the Airport. This March 19 public outreach session will take place in the International Ballroom at the Sheraton Four Points hotel, 10249 W. Irving Park Road, near the intersection of Mannheim and Irving Park Roads in Schiller Park. The public is welcome to attend the session anytime between 4 pm and 8 pm. They will have the opportunity to provide written comments on the FAA’s environmental analysis and the Department’s draft Airport Layout Plan. No oral comments will be taken at the session.

Under federal law, the FAA is preparing a draft EIS for the O’Hare Modernization Program that incorporates an independent and thorough environmental analysis. The modernization program includes: a new north runway 9/27; the relocation of existing runway 18/36; the relocation of existing runway 14L/32R; the relocation of existing runway 14R/32L; an extension of existing runway 9R/27L; and the extension of existing runway 9L/27R.

As proposed, runways 4L/22R and 4R/22L would not be relocated, and the final re-alignment would provide six east/west runways. In addition, the Department of Aviation’s project would potentially involve the relocation of some or all existing navigational aids, the placement of new navigational aids, revision to existing air traffic control procedures, a new western access to the airport, additional terminal facilities, and various roadway and rail line relocations.