United Airlines Ground Equipment Maintenance Facility Replacement

Chicago, Illinois


  • United Airlines

    Project Size

  • 112,000 SF


The O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) is a long-term reconfiguration of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport aimed at reducing flight delays and increasing capacity to better serve passengers, airlines, and airport team members. The final phase includes the addition of a runway, part of a program that is greatly reshaping general airport operations.

To enable this development, United Airlines relocated their existing ground equipment maintenance (GEM) facility. With the relocation, United has increased their service levels and efficiency, as well as storage and maintenance capacity, which will accommodate future growth in their fleet.


We provided planning, architecture, and engineering services for United’s new 112,000 SF GEM facility, which supports the maintenance of all of their ground equipment at O’Hare. We supported the project through the coordination of design and regulatory approvals, project scheduling, and construction.

Our design consolidates the existing United and legacy Continental Airlines GEM buildings into one large-scale facility comprised of three primary areas: administrative offices, maintenance work bays, and specialized workshops. With its greater size, the facility houses extended maintenance bays for super aircraft tractors. The building also supports specialized equipment, such as an extensive bridge crane system, a compressed air and bulk fluids system, a vehicle exhaust system, automated parts and tool storage systems, and more.


Rather than simply relocating the existing GEM building, we found an opportunity to expand its size and maintenance capabilities. With this greater capacity, the new GEM facility offers United the flexibility to address the dynamic demands of the airport environment while servicing a wider array of equipment. In addition, our consolidation of resources and improvement of functions harnesses greater efficiency, strengthening the airline’s ground operations.