The Chicago City Council Aviation Committee is taking a stand in the battle for the concessions contract at the O'Hare Airport international terminal by backing the controversial bid of Westfield Concession Management. Support from United and American airlines, as well as Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino was heard and a committee vote of 14 to 1 followed. Ald. John Arena (45th Ward) said he wasn't convinced, despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel backing it too.
If approved by the full council next week, the city would end an 18-year relationship with Chicago Aviation Partners (CAP). Both Westfield and CAP enter the game with some level of clout. Critics have cried foul, insisting Westfield offers the worst deal to the city with lower rents than the two other competing proposals, while advocates said CAP’s proposal used unrealistic numbers for their projected revenues for the city.