New American Airlines gates open at O'Hare Airport

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined American Airlines CEO Doug Parker at the O'Hare International Airport to open the first new gates at the airport in 25 years.

They made the announcement in the "Concourse L Stinger" Friday morning. The new gates will mean fewer delays, more space to relax and expanded services.

This $78 million investment from American Airlines is the first step in the city's efforts to revamp and expand the airport.

The mayor's office said the 41,000 square foot L concourse, or L stinger, was a project nearly two years in the making that created 300 new jobs.

It's the beginning of what will be an eight-year endeavor, aiming to set the stage for even more improvements to come and create a better travel experience for flyers.

"We begin today, writing the new era and a new chapter for the city of Chicago, for O'Hare and obviously for American Airlines," Emanuel said.

"Chicago is an incredibly important market for us and like Mayor Emanuel, we are committed to solidifying Chicago as a world-class transportation hub and its position on the leading edge of airport innovation," Parker said.

In March, Chicago City Council approved the $8.5 billion expansion project, dubbed "O'Hare 21." It is expected to generate 60,000 construction jobs and tens of thousands of permanent jobs.

Later this year, American Airlines plans to open O'Hare's first new hanger in 40 years.
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