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The History of Aviation


Ohare- Chicago

During World War II, what is now the military side of O'Hare Field was the site of a busy factor producing the Douglas C 54, the 4 engine troop and cargo carriers which were among the largest U. S. planes used in the war. This facility was known as Orchard Place. In 1946 the City Council bought over 1,000 acres of this property from the War Assets Administration and built the Chicago Municipal; Airport, later called Midway Airport, which became the busiest airport in the world. Aviation was growing so rapidly that another 7,000 acres was purchased and in 1949 the airport was officially renamed Chicago-O'Hare International Airport in honor of a Congressional Medal of Honor winner Lieut. Comdr Edward H. "Butch" O'Hare who died in World War II. The airport was officially opened to domestic commercial traffic in 1955 and to international flight in 1956. Most service at this time was handled at Midway but by mid-1962 all schedule operations at Midway had been transferred to O'Hare.

Management Owned by the City of Chicago and operated by the Department of Aviation.

Land Nearly 7,700 acres.


Terminals 183 aircraft gates in 5 terminal buildings.

Flights Over 900,000 (Average of 100 aircraft arrive or depart each hour).

Air Carriers 60 commercial, commuter and cargo airlines. Largest carrier is United Airlines.

Passengers Over 67 million

Cargo 1.36 million tons of freight and mail.

Parking More than 10,000 spaces.

Employment 339,00 jobs representing personal income of $13.5 billion per year.

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