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Chicago O’Hare Airport showcases its USD1 billion T5 investment; new 'Global Terminal' to come

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For all the criticism made several years ago about America’s ‘Third World airports’, considerable sums of money – many billions of dollars – have been thrown at most of the bigger ones for some time now to completely revamp what were ‘good enough for government work’ establishments (to coin a phrase from Tom Wolfe).

Counted among them is Chicago’s O’Hare airport, once the busiest in the US.

Work that is concluding on Terminal 5 at O'Hare, together with expansion and realignment of its eight-runway system and a promised international terminal that would simplify domestic-international connections, hold out the prospect of the airport reacquiring that label one day.

Strangely, very little of the airport’s reincarnation has been funded privately – unlike the situation at New York airports, and some big projects at Los Angeles International. But then again, the 'City' changed its mind on leasing the other airport, Midway, twice, in 2008 and 2013, and an anti-privatisation mindset seems to have stuck ever since.

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