March 16, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin Announce Over $76 Million for Chicago Airports


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced $76,539,502 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration to Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport to help the airports with COVID-19 related expenses.

“Our Chicago airports are an important economic engine for the region, and making sure they continue to have the support they need to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to join Senator Durbin in announcing this infusion of federal funding, and I’ll keep working to ensure our airports and transportation systems have the funding and support necessary throughout this pandemic and beyond.”

“These federal grants will help O’Hare and Midway weather the devastating economic effects of COVID-19 and ensure that air travel is as safe as possible for passengers and employees,” Durbin said. “After facing unprecedented declines in travel last year, Senator Duckworth and I will continue working to provide federal relief to support workers and keep our transportation systems operating.”

“COVID-19 has been both highly disruptive and enormously costly for our airports, and we are fortunate to have champions like Senators Durbin and Duckworth in Congress,” said Jamie L. Rhee, Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner. “While we have been working for months with our airport partners to find cost efficiencies amid historic declines in passenger traffic, we will never sacrifice safe and secure operations – and these grants will help alleviate some of the burden. Our federal legislative partners understand that O’Hare and Midway are more than airports – they are economic engines and job creators, and will be at the forefront of the region’s economic recovery.”

Under this announcement, Chicago O’Hare International Airport will receive $60,002,784, with Chicago Midway International Airport receiving $16,536,718 in funding.

This funding comes from the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 to help airports with COVID-19 costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, debt service payments and combating the spread of pathogens at the airport.