Chicago - Illinois State Senator Martin A. Sandoval along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Dan Lipinski, the Chicago Department of Aviation, members of the Transportation Security Administration, and Southwest Airlines came together to kick off the construction of a new security checkpoint and bridge expansion project at Midway International Airport—marking the commencement of a $323 million investment announced by Mayor Emanuel in 2015 to deliver the airport’s most significant capital upgrade in nearly two decades.
"Moving travelers in and out of Midway in the most efficient, expedited, and safe manner must be a fundamental characteristic of an international airport like Midway Airport. In addition, creating over 1,000 new construction jobs is good for the local economy,” said Senator Martin Sandoval, Chairman of the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee.
The new 80,000-square foot security pavilion is part of Mayor Emanuel’s Midway Modernization Program, which will allow for a streamlined area seven times wider than the current security hall and feature new technology combined with new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) automated lanes expected to increase the hourly throughput from 2,500 to 5,000 passengers per hour—double the existing capacity.
“Today, wait times at Chicago’s airports are among the best in the nation because we have taken steps to improve efficiency, while ensuring more than 100 million passengers can travel safely through Midway and O’Hare each year,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Our investments in security, the first step in Midway's modernization, are more important now than ever before. Over the next three years, we will transform Midway into a truly world class airport at no cost to taxpayers, while creating hundreds of jobs right here in the community.”
The extensive redevelopment will stimulate economic activity throughout the region and prepare Midway Airport to meet forecasted passenger demand—expected to double in the next 20 years—and provide world-class dining and retail facilities for Midway’s 22 million annual passengers. A mix of 21 new food and retail concepts comprised of established global brands and local Chicago favorites will proudly showcase the city’s culture and rich diverse food scene.