CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city’s airline carriers are in the final stages of negotiating an $8.5 billion deal to dramatically expand O’Hare International Airport.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the eight-year plan would be the single largest and most expensive terminal revamp in the airport’s history. The goal is to increase the number of international flights and create more room for domestic carriers.

Plans call for a state-of-the-art global terminal, dozens of new gates and several additional concourses.

The mayor is seeking to leverage the May expiration of the airlines’ 35-year lease to secure higher fees and charges from the carriers that would help bankroll the project.

City officials say the Chicago Department of Aviation would borrow against future airline fees to pay for construction, which wouldn’t require taxpayer dollars.

Information from: Chicago Tribune,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.