Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Forty members and guests took part in the Illinois Limousine Association’s (ILLBA) first Coffee With ILLBA Zoom session of the year on January 17, which shed some light on O’Hare 21, the expansion initiative designed to bring the airport into the 21st century. Guest speaker Tom Stastny, general manager of landside operations of the Chicago Department of Aviation, shared a PowerPoint presentation that provided updates on the airport’s ongoing construction and how it will affect the industry.


During the presentation, Stastny said that the goal of O’Hare 21 is to make the airport—one of the busiest hubs in the country—an “international gateway.” The expansion of Terminal 5 is almost complete, with 10 additional gates added to the complex. Furthermore, the terminal will have a new parking structure opening in 2024, and an enlargement of curbside and roadways near the terminal.

Also discussed was the upcoming replacement of Terminal 2, which is designed to “increase the efficiency” of the structure. This construction, however, isn’t expected to be completed until 2031.

ILLBA ILLBA President Art Rento of Pontarelli Companies

During a Q&A with Stastny, ILLBA President Art Rento of Pontarelli Companies asked if the expansion and construction will have a negative impact on passenger pickup/drop-off. Stastny confirmed that there will likely be delays in traffic during the construction. Another operator asked if there will be separate parking for the livery industry once complete. According to Stastny, this ultimately won’t be considered until completion of the project.

ILLBA ILLBA Executive Director Paula DeBiasi of Chicago Coachworks

Following the session with Stastny, ILLBA Executive Director Paula DeBiasi of Chicago Coachworks took advantage of the fact that many new faces took part in the webinar, and provided a brief overview of ILLBA’s 36-year history, including the advocacy, accomplishments, and goals for the future. Several prospective members inquired about joining the association.

As always, the Coffee With ILLBA session was recorded and will be posted on the organization’s YouTube channel. The next free webinar, dealing with building and maintaining affiliate relationships, is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22, and is open to all operators.

Visit illba.org for more information.