O’Hare International Airport expands and enhances efficiency of its cargo operations with the opening of O’Hare Northeast Cargo Center

Photos by Brooke Collins, City of Chicago

CHICAGO, 2016-Dec-22 — /Travel PR News/ — Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and Erin Gruver of Aeroterm, LLC today to announce the opening of the first phase of the O’Hare Northeast Cargo Center, a more than $220 million development project at O’Hare International Airport that expands and enhances the efficiency of the airport’s cargo operations.

“Whether it’s moving cargo or moving customers, O’Hare provides the kind of economic benefits for companies that they don’t have anywhere else,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This development will improve airport infrastructure, handle growing capacity, enhance competitiveness, creates thousands of construction and permanent jobs, and revenue for the City and surrounding region.”

When completed, this state-of-the-art facility will be the largest airside cargo development built in the U.S. in over a decade. The Northeast Cargo Center is located on approximately 65 acres of previously undeveloped land on the northeast side of O’Hare International Airport. Construction on the site began in late 2013, with Phase I of the development complete and operational. Phase II construction is currently underway and expected to open early next year, with Phase III to follow.

“The air cargo industry generates billions of dollars for Chicago’s economy and supports thousands of jobs across our city,” said Commissioner Evans. “This facility will further Chicago’s leading position in the cargo industry and make O’Hare even more competitive and attractive to businesses, while we continue to make Chicago’s airports more efficient.”

The complete project consists of 915,000-square-feet of warehouse and office space; apron pavement for up to 13 of the largest freighter aircraft that fly today (B747-8); a 2,200-foot airplane design group (ADG) VI taxi lane; landside truck docks; employee parking spaces; a new cargo access road; an expanded fuel farm facility and utility extensions. Each building in the Northeast Cargo Center will provide landside and airside access. Other key benefits of the new cargo facility include hydrant fueling in the aircraft ramp, aircraft nose loading capability and improved airside tug access to the main terminal core.

The Northeast Cargo Center was completed at no cost to Chicago taxpayers. It is funded by a $160 million investment by Aeroterm and more than $62 million of airport funds.

The CDA’s agreement with Aeroterm will provide $600 million of economic benefit to the airport over the life of the agreement. The facilities will be subleased to industry leading airlines, cargo handling organizations and other airport stakeholders. The current tenants for Phase I are Total Airport Services (TAS) and Alliance Ground International (AGI).

“Aeroterm is proud to join with the City of Chicago as the developer of this major infrastructure project which enhances O’Hare International’s air cargo sector and improves efficiency on the airfield,” said Erin Gruver, Chief Development Officer, Aeroterm. “We believe in the future of O’Hare and the investments we’ve made in its infrastructure will keep it strong for years. Our modern, on-airport cargo warehousing, as well as the 747-8 capable aircraft ramp, will continue to make this Midwest jewel a leading gateway airport and economic engine for years to come.”

The Cargo Center was designed to achieve LEED SILVER certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Phase I and Phase II buildings have vegetated green roofs which together comprise 2.4 acres of green roof space. The area was a former military brownfield site that was redeveloped and the newly built facilities have features to help manage storm water, reduce electricity consumption, conserve potable water and promote alternative transportation including parking for bicycles and low emitting vehicles. Hydrant fueling systems installed into the facility eliminate the need for tanker trucks on the aircraft ramp and their associated emissions.

Airlines at O’Hare handled more than 1.6 million tons of air cargo in 2015, its highest volume ever. The airport ranked sixth in the U.S. and seventh in the world in terms of total air cargo tonnage according to Airports Council International (ACI) rankings. O’Hare is ranked number two in the U.S. for value of shipments imported and exported through the airport (more than $170 billion annually) and is ranked number five among all U.S. ports (including airports, seaports and border crossings) for total trade. Chicago is the leading national gateway for air trade with China, representing more than 25 percent of freighter imports and exports by value.

​SOURCE: Chicago Department of Aviation

The CDA Media Relations office number is (773) 686-3700. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.