Press Release

AECOM announced today that the American Council of Engineering Companies has selected the Chicago O’Hare International Airport as the recipient of the 2014 Engineering Excellence Award for its Runway 10C-28C and associated taxiways project.

This national honor is shared with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), which operates the airport, as well as the lead consultant team of the O’Hare Airfield Engineers Joint Venture (OAE JV).  The OAE JV is comprised of managing partner AECOM and fellow member firms Jacobs, Milhouse Engineering & Construction and Delta Engineering Group.

O’Hare International is one of the world’s busiest airports and is a driving force behind the economies of Chicago, the state of Illinois and the U.S. Midwestern region.  Realizing the impacts that delays at O’Hare have on the national aviation system, the City of Chicago collaborated to fund the US$8 billion O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP).  As the nation’s largest airport construction program, the ultimate goal of the OMP was to transform O’Hare from its out dated system of intersecting runways into a more-efficient system of parallel runways.

As the central component of OMP Phase 1, the CDA contracted the OAE JV team to provide lead engineering services for the design and construction of the new Runway 10C-28C and associated taxiways.  With a total project budget of US$1.3 billion, the design of new Runway 10C-28C included paving, lighting, marking, grading, drainage, service roads, airfield utilities, a cargo tunnel, two cargo aprons and navigational aids (NAVIAIDs), as well as project phasing and coordination with other enabling and ancillary projects. 

Since the new runway’s footprint overlapped with many airport facilities that needed to be relocated or displaced, the OAE JV and the OMP carefully choreographed the relocation of these facilities in order to provide a project that was not only completed safely, but also ahead of schedule and on budget.  These facilities included a relocation of a cemetery, a railroad (on two separate occasions), a waterway (on two separate occasions), two large cargo facilities, a detention basin, an aircraft fueling station, airfield support facilities as well as many residences.  Additionally, the OAE JV incorporated sustainable elements throughout all aspects of the project.  Following the lead of the CDA’s industry-leading Sustainable Airport Manual, the OAE JV developed designs that were cost effective as well as environmentally conscious.

Delivered ahead of schedule and on budget, the project provided O’Hare with a more-efficient, parallel runway system with greater capacity.  With a nearly US$4-billion economic impact, the runway created over 1,000 construction and professional services jobs annually during its eight year span, and its opening creates over 50,000 permanent jobs. 

The new runway, commissioned on Oct. 17, 2013, reduces the anticipated delays at O’Hare by nearly 50 percent, thus lowering emissions through fewer taxi idle times; increasing capacity to meet current and future demand; and accommodating new “super jumbo” aircraft by providing additional alternatives for safe and efficient international travel and cargo operations.


Ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings, AECOM is a premier, fully integrated infrastructure and support services firm, with a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government.  With approximately 45,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in more than 150 countries around the world, AECOM is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves.  AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  A Fortune 500 company, AECO…