Durbin Meets with Secretary of Transportation and FAA Administrator

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Randy Babbitt to discuss Illinois transportation priorities including the O’Hare Modernization Program and FAA Reauthorization.


“Transportation is the key to creating and keeping jobs in the Midwest and Secretary LaHood understands that,” said Durbin.  “He also understands how important the O’Hare Modernization Program is to the entire Chicagoland area.  I thanked him for his effort earlier this year to secure a deal that kept the project moving forward.”


Last week, the Senate and House of Representatives passed a transportation bill which extends funding for federal highway and transit programs through the end of March 2012 and aviation programs through the end of January 2012.  This extension avoided another partial shutdown of the FAA which caused airport construction projects around the country to be put on hold as well as the furlough of 4,000 FAA employees.


The O’Hare Modernization Program, managed by the Chicago Department of Aviation, is one of the largest construction projects in the country at one of the world’s busiest airports.  The first phase of the program, which is still under construction, includes two new runways, a runway extension, and a new air traffic control tower.  When the program is complete, O’Hare will have eight modern runways, reducing flight delays and improving efficiency for travelers throughout the country.