Sample Essay on O’Hare Airport Master Plan Report


The O’Hare Airport is one of the major airports in the United States. It serves majority of the people due to its size and locality in a populated area. However, there are challenges such as delays in departure and arrivals of the customers, which may reduce its stability. There is therefore need to curb such challenges in order to offer the best form of services to its customers. This paper contains a master plan report for the airport. This plan provides the structure of making decisions in line with the varying terms within the air transportation industry. The goal of the Airport plan is to meet the aviation requirements in a reasonably established approach, in consideration of the environmental, aviation, and socioeconomic factors affecting any airport. Aviation demands and activity projections, records of the present conditions, and alternative study, chosen development plan, implementation and airport layout plan are some of the elements included in the plan for identification of a guide for impending facility growth. The report is divided into three chapters. Chapter 1 comprises the summary of the introduction, background, safety, parking and other services offered within the airport. Chapter 2 contains the comments and analysis, while Chapter 3 contains recommendations and the conclusion. Among the various improvements are the better terminal services for customers, expansion of the number of runways, construction of the facilities to de-ice on the runways and improvements of the directional signs.





O\’Hare Airport Master Plan Report


This report is a summary of the O’Hare Airport Master Plan. O’Hare is one of the greatest airports in America. Its challenges outline the major setbacks in the air transport system within the continent. This report contains major changes that are to be made to improve the system. It contains the security, facility, public parking, airport capacity and the budget reports. The Master plan of the Airport gives guidance of the development of the facility to suit the future needs of aviation. This plan addresses elements such as airfield, ground access, terminal, and the airfield. It also contains improvements within the facility for the developments of the general operation of the airport. The present airfield and the terminal core have been fully explored through the previous plan updates and studies. Hence, underlying limitations have been documented.

Chapter 1


Ricondo & Associates Inc. prepared this master plan after appointment by the Chicago Department of aviation. This consultative team comprised of Carolyn Grisko & Associates, Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Stormwater, and Kimley-Horn and Associates among others (FAA, 2001). The purpose of the master plan is to give guidance on the long-term development of the facility (Garvey, 2001). The plan gives the structure for making decisions in line with the varying terms within the air transportation industry. The goal of the airport plan is to meet the aviation requirements in an economically sustainable manner, in consideration of the environmental, aviation and socioeconomic factors affecting any airport. Elements included in the plan for identification of a guide for upcoming facility growth are aviation demand and activity projections, records of the present conditions, and alternative study, chosen development plan, implementation, and airport layout plan.

There were various development and growth studies that were listed in the chosen airport plan, the result follow-on formal submittal, and the outline layout plan (ALP) which was given to the FAA. Upcoming activity projections were set up for 20 years. The demand analysis was made up of utilization of estimates, which were previously established by the FAA. These were made to form other aviation profiles and future schedules for the airport. They were thereafter used in the simulation studies, to process the normal airfield idea and determine the future requirements of the terminal, ancillary and access facilities.


This was not mentioned in within the plan.

Public Parking

There are various parking options: hourly parking for picking up and dropping off passengers, long term, valet and daily parking. With the terminal area, three lots of short-term parking are adequately accommodated. There are two levels for the daily parkers while the short-term parkers are available in the fifth terminal. By the end of 2001, demand for parking had reduced. This however shot up at the beginning of 2002.

Terminal Concept of the airport (including aprons)

The north and south control towers will be built to cover the entire air traffic. Public and staff parking facilities will be expanded to meet the present requirements. The latest secure people mover (APM) will connect the existing terminal and the upcoming west terminal. The airport has included elements from the chosen plan to the O’Hare modernization program (OMP) and the improvement program. Moreover, the plan will improve the airport in general; there will be an expansion of the access and terminal facilities, relocation of the railways and the buildings. This will be in order to give room to the runways. New navigational aid systems (NAVAIDS) will be incorporated while the present one will be upgraded.

Runways, taxiways, lighting of runway, and pavement marking

The future ALP reveals the preferred development plan. This is inclusive of the airfield layout, which maximizes the arrival and departure ability of the airport during the favorable and the unfavorable weathers. This plan encourages the prediction of the future activity levels. The physical features of this plan are rearrangement of the airfield from parallel runways in three major orientations to six similar landing strips in the east-west direction and two more in the northwest to southeast. This includes a new runway, reposition of the existing three strips and additional of existing two landing strips. In the meantime, maintenance of the present two unmodified strips will be going on. This plan gives room for the development of the terminal services on the west and final establishment of the western entrance to the airport. This is in addition to the development of the terminal as suggested by the (WGP) world gateway program. The airport will manage to contain a new aircraft under the design (ADG) VI.

Facilities and services (including disables, special needs, VIP, CIP)

Design day schedules are meant to be used for a given period: 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2018. These periods were chosen in line with the master plan implementation schedule. The requirements were also inclusive of the planning factors as stipulated in the Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5300-13. The facility requirements facilitated easier identification of the development alternatives within the airport. Alternatives were analyzed; these were incorporated into the chosen development plan.

Delays in airfield at the Airport have been a major setback in the airport and the transport system at large; it reached the peak in 1990. Thereafter, it slightly declined following the recommendations and other actions from the 1991 Delay Task Force. At the end of the decade, there was a rise in delays. This was attributed to the modification of the LAHSO (Land and Hold Short Operations), increased utilization of the local jet aircraft and activity development. For instance, the 2000 summer period was mainly prone to delay throughout the countrywide airport system. This led to the state attention on the delay cases. In response to these delays, the congress appealed to the FAA to assume the responsibility of establishing capacity benchmarks for the demanding airports. Excerpts from the 2001 report comprise:

  1. The present ability being at least 20 flights in good weather
  2. Present capacity being at most 160 flights in bad weather. This is inclusive of adverse winds and poor visibility.
  • The ranking of the airport in terms of 15 minutes delay; Generally at least 6% of the flights were delayed
  1. In unfavorable weather, the airport has a lower capacity. Therefore, the scheduled traffic surpasses the normal eight hours. Delayed flights at this time increases to 12%
  2. Technology and procedural improvements are expected. This is supposed to increase the capacity standard for good weathers by at least 6%. This translates to at least 211 flights per hour for the coming 10 years.
  3. Poor weather capacity standards will increase by 12%. This translates to 17 flights hourly.
  • Demand at the airport is foreseen to increase by 18% in the next ten years. The imbalance between demand and ability growth is seen to highly escalate the delays. Before the 2001 capacity benchmark report, FAA categorized the airport as the leading delayed airport in the entire country for the 2002 calendar year.
  • This delay seasons made the airport to supply a continuous point of air service to the users. Moreover, as the demand for the aviation is increasing over time, delays in flight are continually worsening. This is further weakening the operational reliability of the airport.

Signage and guidance inside the airport for passengers

This has not been mentioned within the plan.

Airport capacity

Main achievements expected from the plan are reduction in delays and increase in capacity. This plan will considerably reduce the delay. The increased capabilities will balance the arrival and the departure during the peak seasons and all weathers. Increase in capacity is expected to meet the requirements.


This has not been mentioned within the plan.

Chapter 2: Comments

These comments are for the purposes of planning only. These comments are about construction, facilities, and the airport planning in general. Construction will only progress after the FAA is through with the analysis and the review of the environmental impact statements and gives a good record of decision. Less information from this document will be available in the master plan. This is because of the many demands in planning and structure of the planning grants. Nevertheless, approved tasks by the FAA are addressed. This is irrespective of the original document; whether it is from the master planning or the EIS.


This has not been mentioned within the plan.

Public parking

The sponsor together with the FAA went on to improve the proposed airfield. The airfield simulation representation was thoroughly worked on while the airport layout plan tackled the task. The refinement of the facility was thoroughly accomplished by the scope of work within the grant.

Terminal concept of the airport

OMP was supposed to be provided. This is inclusive of the discussion on the role played by the OMP in the airport improvement plan, sources of funding among other amounts. The sponsor in the master planning report gave the financial plan. This was documented at the required levels. An additional analysis will be carried over after receiving the letter of intent from the sponsor. This letter is expected to include the benefit cost analysis. On the development of the cost benefit analysis, this is ongoing effort. Documentation of the economic effect of OMP on the Chicago region is still ongoing. It is expected to be completed as a form of environmental result statement (Garvey, 2001). The goals and objectives of OMP and WGP are continuous effort. They are interrelated to give a more general efficient and beneficial structure. Provision of the documentation with the existing conditions and challenges is also ongoing. It is also expected to be part of the environmental outcome statement. The documentation is inclusive of the airport inventory and an evaluation of the significant and operational issues. On the issue of the public outreach program, the sponsor has supplied it. However, it needs to supply FAA data in line with the outreach materials. These are handouts and comments from every event.

Runways, taxiways, lighting of runway, and pavement marking

The triple independent instrument method will give room for the maintenance of a higher AAR for longer sessions, reduced consumption on fuels and reduced stress for the traffic controllers. There will be increased savings on the total costs. This is attributed to the reliable schedule. It will also encourage competition within the airlines using other airports. This will be beneficial to the national transportation system. More opportunities would be available for the entrant carriers and further supporting competition.

Facilities and services

There are various benefits accrued from the modifications of the airport. To the National Airspace System, there will be reduction of delays nationally as the airfield capacity will be increased. This will eradicate the challenge of constant ‘bottlenecks’ within the navigation system.  According to national aeronautics and space administration, increased landing strips provide free IFR capability, which is among the leading strategies for increasing the capacity in NAS. These improvements are seen to reduce the conditions that affect the rate of airport arrivals within a one-hour period. The scale of work emphasizes that the terminal facilities will produce the growth of the present information in relation to the leasehold of the carrier and the occupied gates in the terminal end. For cargo facilities, leasehold information will be gathered and presented to the FAA.

Discussion of the compatible use of land like the RTPZ acquisition and public interest is nearly over within the grant. Supervision is still being carried over by the FAA. The current airport travelling time and delay studies through the 2002 terminal area prediction are still underway. Restricted and unrestricted predictions have been developed by the FAA’s TPC. It will be transported from the city to the required area for modeling. The sponsor is to work with the FAA adequately to address the pre-master planning as provided by the FAA. In addition to the written documents, the sponsor included a draft report on the addressing the water planning. The additional facts will be included when FAA will have finished with the review. Documents in the master plan have the outcome of the airfield. The FAA has incorporated these drafts for the simulation of the roadway model.

Signage and guidance inside the airport for airport

The sponsor effectively completed the elements within the scope of work. The flight schedules were updated to reveal the present information for the environmental impact statement (FAA, 2001).

Airport capacity

This has not been mentioned within the plan.


This has not been mentioned within the plan.

Chapter 3: Recommendations

As one of the greatest airports in America, the O’Hare airport has served many people as one of the leading airports. This has been through the various updates that the management has received. The airport was expanded and renovated in the early 1990s. This has seen the airport rise to its present level. It has also led to stiff competition with other major airports. Some of the areas that have seen improvements are the personal services rendered to the customers, improved terminal areas and the landing paths. The airport has a great level of safety. However, the physical features and the equipment need to be upgraded. For the stranded passengers, the airport has been providing a safe area with pillows, dimmed lights, and toiletries.

There is need of a wide variety of improvements in the airport (Federal Aviation Administration, 2004). This is as a way to curb problems such as delay and few landing strips. This is inclusive of the runways and better terminal services for the customers. The extra runway should be cleared soonest to open space for more runways (FAA, 2001).  This will curb the problem of delay, which has earned the airport a negative rank. This will also facilitate better training of the aircrews. By expanding the number of runways, the entire air transport system will benefit. Recent news state that the present controllers have made grievous mistakes of allowing the airplanes come close to the tower. This can be attributed to the few employees in this department. Studies have it that there are fewer African Americans working within the airport. This is attributed to the high standard of racism within the institution. There is need for the management to pay special bonuses and grades as a way of attracting controllers. This will improve the number of understaffed employees within.

Previously, the runways intersected except for the 4R/22L. This was problematic in unfavorable weathers and in busy times. With the new constructions, the two runways that run from the northwest to the southeast should be removed. Four additional ones that run from the east to the west should be included. Takeoffs have been done on shortened configurations. Upon request, full-length runways should be made available. These changes will also improve the airbus services. These can be used to connect the present four terminals and distant parking lots. This will also serve as a collection point for government revenues. An additional of 15 cars is recommended to facilitate these services. There is need to replace the air cargo complex with a new one which can be located on the northern side of field.

There is also need for the construction of the facilities to de-ice on the runways. This will reduce the cases where planes taxi to and from, as they wait to take off (Chicago O’Hare International Airport, 1997). Directional signs ought to be improved; this should be done on the taxiways and runways lacking clear markings. Complications in air traffic can be reduced by rerouting some of the planes to a southeast 50 miles point for the arrivals and departures to converge. The management needs to limit the number of planes that land during the rush hours.


O’Hare airport is one of the leading airports in America. It is under the jurisdiction of the Canada transport system. The airport has had many challenges, among them the problem of delay. This has been caused by unfavorable weather, smaller and fewer landing strips, among others. Due to these challenges, there is need therefore to have various changes within the airport. The master plan has summarized the changes that are to happen as proposed by various bodies and implemented by FAA. The master plan has provided the structure of decision-making in the air transport industry. By following the plan, the airport will manage to meet the demands of the aviation in a financially stable approach. There are comments, which have been made concerning the plan. The consideration of such feedback would further direct the management towards a better strategy.



Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Type and Capacity. 1997 Ground Access Survey: Technical Memorandum: Summary of Data.

Federal Aviation Administration. FAA’s OPSNET database. 2001. Retrieved from:

Garvey, J. F. (June 15th, 2001). Airport Capacity in the Chicago Area. The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Chicago.