Also the last structure in the way of 9C/27C is nearly demolished - there'll be nothing in the way of the paving crew in short order.
That’s really great news! It’ll be a real treat to see heavies landing on the north side of the field. When 9R/27L is extended, will all runways be open for both flows of traffic, or will there still be restrictions on the use of 9L/27R and 10R/28L? I’d imagine 22L will stop being used in West flow.
Any comments, sir?
I haven't worked ATC at ORD for a number of years and am not familiar with the operational plans that ORD has in mind with the new runway configuration. I can make a few observations though:
Depending on how long the new runways are (27L/27C) having a relatively long runway available for very heavy
arrivals from the north will be a benefit for making the arrival flow less complicated and therefore slightly more efficient. Most long-haul heavies arrive from the two northern arrival fixes so being able to land on a runway on the north side of the airport will reduce the need to jockey them across the skies to one of the 28s. I doubt these heavies will ever accept 27R (7,500') when there is a 10,000'+ runway available.
I don't know how long 27L/27C will be so not sure if ORD's plan is to land on 27C and double-back and cross 27L near the approach end while departures roll from a downfield intersection or if they'll need to exit 27C and then taxi westbound to join the taxiway that runs along the western boundary of the airport and wait for a gap in the 27L departures to taxi through the extended centerline. If ORD has the space to use the western taxiway unrestricted when departing 27L/27R, then life will be easier and quite efficient. If they cannot get a waiver or ruling like ATL has then landing both 27C and 27R with 27L departures becomes a bit of a pickle.
If 27L/27C are long enough for long-haul heavies to depart from, it will help with the airport departure flow somewhat as almost all TPAC and TATL traffic files over the northern fixes or the northern-most of the eastbound fixes.
In reality, I'm thinking that they won't need to use the north runways for departures very often as 28R is still a 'free-roll' and 22L is an easy gap-shot to depart from. You can run a lot of departures on that combination alone. You could depart the northbound long-haul heavies off 27L and save the wake turbulence penalty on 28R departures if you really wanted to fine-tune the operation but again that adds a little more complexity/coordination to an already busy operation.
That's just my opinion from working radar and tower there...the final operational plan(s) are probably far different. There are some very creative/sharp minds working there so I have no doubt they'll come up with something unique.