CHICAGO — Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport opened a new runway on Thursday, which the city hopes can cut delays by nearly half, and allow for nearly 90,000 additional annual flights as demand grows.
The 10,800-foot runway, built over the site of a former cemetery, is part of the airport’s $8 billion modernization project, which has already added one other runway, expanded another, and added a new traffic control tower.
O’Hare handles the second largest number of passengers in the nation after Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
It has been notorious for delays because of congestion and Chicago’s often wild weather. Delays at O’Hare often have a ripple effect across the country.
For the 12 months ending July, 68.3 percent of O'Hare's departures were on time, compared to 72.1 for all major airports, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics.