For Immediate Release

March 19, 2003
Contact: Tony Molinaro
Phone: (847) 294-7427

CHICAGO — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is hosting an outreach session today to update the public on how it will carry out its responsibilities to fully and fairly evaluate the proposed O’Hare Modernization Program. The FAA must address safety, design criteria, and environmental compliance. During the session, the FAA will brief the public on its draft Purpose and Need criteria for the O’Hare project. This key component of the FAA’s Environmental Impact Statement identifies the issues and clarifies Federal actions required to address these issues.

The FAA’s Purpose and Need criteria identified so far for the O’Hare project include:

  • Increase capacity and reduce delays (including during peak periods and in all weather conditions) at O’Hare;
  • Provide terminal, landside, and support facilities to accommodate existing and future passenger and cargo demand efficiently; and to allocate enough land for those facilities;
  • Provide an efficient surface access system for existing and future airport users. In addition, the FAA will confirm that the following alternatives will be screened as part of its environmental analysis of the proposed O’Hare Modernization Program:
  • No-build/Do-nothing alternative;
  • Use of other existing or proposed airports;
  • Alternative modes of transportation;
  • Demand management alternatives (involving schedule or equipment restrictions);
  • Proposed project alternatives;
  • Alternative airfield development at O’Hare, alternative O’Hare configurations, and an alternative number of runways.
  • The FAA’s environmental analysis efforts also will include such future activities as:
  • Identification and screening of alternatives to the proposed O’Hare Modernization Program;
  • Identification and description of the affected environmental issues; and
  • Identification of potential environmental consequences for the application of each of the alternatives.

The FAA might host additional outreach sessions during its Environmental Impact Statement process to provide up-to-date information at appropriate points.