Air Transport World

United's terminal for tomorrow. (United Airlines Inc.)

United's Terminal For Tomorrow

United Airlines calls it the Terminal For Tomorrow, and its $500-million glass-and-steel complex that opened formally at O'Hare International Airport on August 4 is undeniably futuristic in appearance, even though the architecture intentionally echoes the historic railway stations of a bygone era.

And United hopes that the twin-concourse, 85-acre (half the size of Chicago's Loop) facility, with its ability to process 65,000 passengers a day (nearly twice as many as United currently handles at O'Hare) is indeed tomorrow's answer to the problem of speeding passengers through an increasingly congested air transportation system.

Proven systems

The new terminal, the carrier says, combines the best of today's state-of-the-art technology into a whole that will move people to and from airplanes, and airplanes into and out of gates, as rapidly as possible. There are no real innovations in the complex--all of the systems have previously been installed and proven in facilities elsewhere in United's system. …

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