Earlier today, I was happy to announce a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to support the design and construction of a new South Air Traffic Control Tower at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
This new tower is just one of the exciting features in the O’Hare Modernization Program.
Now, you might have felt the frustration of waiting at a gate, sitting on the tarmac, or missing a connecting flight. Believe me, the people who use O'Hare--the world’s second busiest airport--have felt it too. And so have those using the hundreds of airports served by aircraft flying through O'Hare.
But, when completed, the new South Tower will not only make it significantly easier for O'Hare passengers to sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip; it will also help bring the US aviation system into the 21st century.
And, as terrific as that development is, the fact that the O'Hare Modernization Program is proceeding with a careful eye on sustainability makes it even better.
And just today, the O'Hare Modernization Program unveiled the latest updates to its Sustainable Airport Manual, in time for the 2010 Airports Going Green conference being held nearby. This manual guides many of the overall design and construction standards of the modernization program and ensures that O’Hare will continue to evolve as a model of the environmental stewardship envisoned by this conference.
I was pleased to tell Airports Going Green conference-goers that O'Hare's South Tower is only one of many green projects the Department of Transportation and FAA are supporting at airports across America.
Whether it's getting power from a solar-power system atop a parking garage in Albuquerque or a filtering and recycling stormwater in Philadelphia or running ground service vehicles in Los Angeles with bio-diesel made from grass clippings, DOT has been a partner.
And we will continue to be there, helping make America's airports more efficient and more sustainable than they've ever been.