The Chicago Department of Aviation is building Runway 9C/27C as part of its broader effort to modernize O'Hare International Airport. The runway is scheduled to open Nov. 5th, 2020. It will be the last new full runway built as part of the O'Hare Modernization Program. This video from the Federal Aviation Administration offers information on how the new runway will be used.

CDA New Runway 9C/27C Frequently Asked Questions

Summary

Background
Runway 9C/27C is scheduled to open on November 5, 2020. It is the last full runway to be built as part of the O’Hare Modernization Program. In addition to this new runway, a runway extension on the north side of the airport is scheduled for completion at the end of 2021.

Runway 9C/27C is located on the north side of O’Hare Airport and will be the sixth east/west parallel aligned runway at O’Hare. The new runway creates more balance for the airport with three parallel runways north of the terminals and three south of the terminals.

Runway Use
During current west flow operations, 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., runways 27R, 27L and 28C are typically used for arrivals. It is anticipated that the new runway will be used initially for arrivals when there isn’t a high volume of traffic.

During the initial months after Runway 9C/27C opens, East flow flights will also change on the north airfield of O’Hare.

During Daytime operations today, runways 9R and 10L are used for departures. Runway 9C will be added to the list of departure options for this time period in late 2020.

In early 2021 when the new runway has full navigational capabilities, it is anticipated that the new runway will be used primarily for arriving aircraft in both east flow and west flow operations. In west flow, the arrival runways at O’Hare will be 27R 28C and the new runway 27C.

During east flow operations, Runways 9L 10C and 10R will continue to be used for arrivals. Runway 9C will be added to the list of arrival options but no more than three runways will be in use at one time.

These are typical configurations and they are subject to changes as a result of runway construction, adverse weather, runway inspections and traffic volume.

The arrival paths for the new runway from both the west and the east will result in aircraft flying over homes and businesses that have not experienced arrival traffic before.

Runway 9R/27L Extension
The airport plans to close Runway 9R/27L at some time during 2021 as it completes that runway’s extension. This will trigger more changes to flight patterns during this time period.

During construction of the extension, west flow arrival flights that were using Runway 27L will move to Runway 27C. During construction of the extension, east flow departure flights will continue to use Runway 10L and departures that were using 9R will move to 9C. These patterns will stay in place until the extended Runway 9R/27L opens, which is currently planned for December 2021.

Fly Quiet
FAA will follow the Interim Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Plan for overnight operations. After January 31, 2021, nighttime operations will return to the Existing Fly Quiet program.