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Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Centralized Deicing Facility & Crossfield Taxiway System

Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) Centralized Deicing Facility and Crossfield Taxiway System

Accommodating up to 20 narrow-body or 5 wide-body aircraft at once, Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s new central deicing facility (CDF) is the largest of its kind in the U.S. Kimley-Horn provided design, bidding, and construction phase support for the CDF and crossfield taxiway system.

Safety and Efficiency

Located in the proximity of the departure points of Runways 10L, 9R, and the future 9C, the state-of-the-art CDF will help improve safety and efficiency for more than 50 airlines serving O’Hare. The facility will increase the efficiency of the current deicing operations at individual gates, improve gate utilization and terminal capacity, eliminate secondary deicing for departing planes, and enhance runway safety while improving airfield operations.

Access to and from the facility is through a common-use taxiway system connected to the balance of the airfield. Once the aircraft is in the CDF, it is serviced in areas dedicated to their specific airline. Consequently, the CDF includes dedicated facilities to the management of the operations, marshaling of equipment, deicing fluid storage, and other ancillary deicing functions. The facility can accommodate a wide combination of aircraft, ranging from four Boeing 747-400 and five Boeing 767-400 to 16 Boeing 737-900.

The construction of this facility will not only provide significant improvements during the winter months, but is also expected to provide operational relief during the summer months when aircraft are subject to ground holds at the airport. In the long term, the pavements associated with the CDF could be used or expanded for potential future ramp areas and terminal gates.

Crossfield Taxiway System

The crossfield taxiway system connects the north and south airfields and improves air traffic control’s ability to manage aircraft on the ground. This system of taxiways can accommodate the most demanding aircraft in the fleet mix and complements the existing airfield, including operations at the new CDF. This new crossfield taxiway system will decrease taxi time for planes arriving at O’Hare.

Airfield Electrical Systems

All components of this project require extensive electrical systems to operate efficiently in good and bad weather conditions. In addition to apron lighting and CCTV systems, this project required the installation of taxiway edge lighting, taxiway and deicing pad centerline lighting, airfield lighting electrical vault modifications, and installation of a new airfield lighting control system (ALCS) with smart-pad technology. A total of 14 new 30-kW constant current regulators were installed in the existing electrical vault, including power distribution and control system modifications.