Chicago, IL, 2017-Nov-26 — /Travel PR News/ — Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) today to officially open a new 90,000 square foot Airport Maintenance Complex (AMC) annex building to be used for the snow program at O’Hare International Airport. The new $18 million facility houses snow removal vehicles and other equipment that is critical to maintaining safe and efficient operations at one of the busiest airfields in the world. The project was constructed in only 10 months and is open for use in time for the winter season.
“During the winter season and all year round, air travelers and businesses depend on Chicago O’Hare to connect them to destinations around the world 24/7, 365 days a year,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This investment protects a massive fleet of modern, state-of-the art snow equipment to ensure that one of the world’s busiest airports can maintain safe and efficient operations when snow starts to fall this season, and as O’Hare continues to expand.”
Located next to the existing AMC facility on O’Hare’s south airfield, the new AMC annex will help house one of the largest fleets of snow vehicles of any airport in the world. It currently provides indoor storage for more than 90 pieces of snow removal equipment valued at approximately $66 million, with room for additional equipment to be added in the future. Storing the vehicles indoors protects them from the elements, improves performance and reduces the amount of maintenance needed.
Effective snow operations are a critical component of the CDA’s overall mission to ensure safe and efficient airport operations. O’Hare fleet includes 245 pieces of equipment and more than 470 staff dedicated to snow removal on the airfield, in the parking lots and public roadways. On the airfield alone, the CDA must maintain nearly 80 miles of runways and taxiways and more than 20 million square feet of hold pads, hard stands and ramp areas at O’Hare.
“O’Hare is recognized in the aviation industry as a leader for maintaining safe and efficient operations during the winter season,” said Ginger S. Evans. “Our award-winning snow program will be even better with this new building that keeps our equipment running with optimal performance and lengthens the life of our snow removal vehicles.”
Many of the vehicles in the snow fleet this winter season are replacement vehicles or new additions to the fleet, including 28 state-of-the-art Jetbrooms that are each equipped with a plow, broom and blower, as well as deicer tanks on some models. In addition to the Jetbrooms, the CDA has added snow blowers, salt and sand trucks to its fleet to maintain new pavement added as O’Hare’s airfield modernization program.
FH Paschen was awarded the contract to construct the AMC annex through a competitive bid process and construction started in February 2017. Approximately 40 jobs were created during construction of the building, and the project met the CDA’s goals for increasing the diversity of firms working on airport contracts, with 33 percent DBE (disadvantaged business enterprise) participation.
The annex building is equipped with five, 40 foot-wide, insulated sliding doors to accommodate entry and exit of the largest snow equipment in O’Hare’s massive snow fleet. As with all new facilities built at Chicago’s airports, the facility incorporates sustainability features. At least half of the building materials were locally sourced and the materials contain a high level of recycled content. The building is heated with a high efficiency radiant system that minimizes heat loss when the doors are opened. Other features include storm water management, white roof membrane to reduce heat island effect and high efficiency lighting systems.
The location of the AMC expansion was previously used as a landside snow storage area, where snow is temporarily placed until it melts. The new area has been relocated approximately one mile away on airport property.
The AMC annex building complements other major projects that are part of a $1.3 billion investment at O’Hare that will create the most modern and efficient airfield in the country, including a new runway (Runway 9C/27C) set to open in 2020 and a centralized deicing facility set to open next year.
SOURCE: Chicago Department of Aviation, Mayor’s Office
Media Relations: (773) 686-3700