Department of Aviation
Department Facts


City Services

Chicago Department of Aviation


  • Rosemarie S. Andolino
  • Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA)
Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino

Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino manages one of the world’s busiest airport systems comprised of O’Hare and Midway International Airports. Chicago’s airports handle more than 85 million passengers and one million operations each year and have an annual operating budget of $1 billion.

O’Hare International is the second busiest airport in the world with more than 875,000 operations and nearly 67 million passengers in 2012. More than 50 passenger carriers provide service to 200 destinations across the globe. O’Hare is also a leader in the air cargo industry, serving more than 30 cargo airlines and ranking 7th in the U.S. and 20th in the world by cargo tonnage.

Midway International, also known as aviation’s busiest square mile, is the nation’s premier airport for point-to-point domestic service. There were more than 255,000 operations and a record-breaking 19.5 million passengers at Midway in 2012, the most ever in the airport’s 85-year history. Five airlines at Midway provide service to 70 destinations.

Since Andolino was appointed as Aviation Commissioner in April 2009, the CDA has increased revenue generated at the airports while reducing expenses. In 2012, concessions sales at O’Hare increased year over year by more than $17 million, to $355.8 million and sales per enplaning passenger increased nearly four percent. At Midway, 2012 total concessions sales increased year over year by more than $3.8 million and sales per enplaning passenger increased by over 1.5 percent.

Commissioner Andolino has prioritized air service development as well as reviving the CDA’s focus on customer service. Since her appointment, Chicago’s airports have added significant air passenger service, including Cathay Pacific Airways, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Hainan Airlines, that is estimated to generate more than $2.4 billion in annual economic impact for the region.

Andolino is also charged with implementing the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) — an estimated $8 billion program that is reconfiguring O’Hare’s intersecting runways into a modern, parallel configuration to increase the airport’s efficiency and capacity well into the future. She has led the program since it began in 2003 and has overseen the completion of OMP Phase One. In 2008, the OMP commissioned O’Hare’s first new runway in 37 years (Runway 9L-27R), a 3,000 foot extension to O’Hare’s busiest runway (Runway 10L-28R) and the first-ever LEED-certified air traffic control tower. These projects opened on or ahead of schedule and nearly $40 million under budget. On October 17, 2013, the OMP opened Chicago’s first Group VI capable runway, (Runway 10C-28C) built to accommodate the largest aircraft that fly today, including the Boeing 747-8 and the A380. Runway 10C-28C can reduce delays by nearly 50 percent; and as demand grows, the new runway will allow for nearly 90,000 additional annual flights while still reducing flight delays.

Andolino’s leadership has brought the CDA to the forefront for airport sustainability. She led the creation of the internationally-acclaimed OMP Sustainable Design Manual (SDM) in 2003 followed by the Sustainable Airport Manual (SAM) 2009. The SAM is a living and evolving document covering sustainability for all airport functions including administration, planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance, and concessions and tenants. Andolino, the CDA and the OMP have been recognized for excellence in environmental stewardship by Engineering News Record (CNR) as one of its top 25 newsmakers; the U.S. Green Building Council, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, the United Nation’s Environmental Programme for Liveable Communities, the Innovations Conference on Asphalt and Transportation (ICAT) 2010 Heartland Sustainability Award, Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chicago, the Women in Transportation Seminar, as well as by several other government agencies and industry publications. Andolino’s efforts resulted in the annual Airports Going Green (AGG) conference which is now in its sixth year.

In 2013, Commissioner Andolino received the “Excellence in Public Service” award from the Civic Federation and Motorola Solutions Foundation and was also named among the top women in transportation by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). Ms. Andolino was honored in 2012 with a “Distinguished Leadership Award” from SOS Children's Villages Illinois, “Distinction in Leadership” award from the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the “Creating a Community That Works” award from the North Lawndale Employment Network.

Andolino is a member of the World Travel and Tourism Council, the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors for Choose Chicago. She is the Chair of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Legislative Alliance and serves on AAAE’s Policy Review Committee. She is also a member of the Foundation Advisory Board for DePaul University, Airports Council International (ACI) World Board; International Association of Airport Executives Board of Directors; Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI) Steering Committee; Airport Council International-North America (ACI-NA); O’Hare Express Rail Blue Ribbon Committee; State of Illinois Elgin-O'Hare West Bypass Advisory Council; U.S. Travel Gateway Airport Council; Chairman of the US Travel Gateway Airport Council, Women in Aviation; Women in Transportation Seminar Advisory Board; International Air Transport Association, International Aviation Women’s Association; Lambda Alpha International – Ely Chapter, and the Bradley University Civil Engineering & Construction Advisory Board. She is also active in the community and serves as an executive board member for SOS Children’s Villages Illinois. She has also served as a member of the Italian American Executives of Transportation and Eno Transportation Board.

Her distinguished 24-year career in public service has included positions within several City of Chicago departments, including Executive Director of the OMP and First Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.

Andolino is a native Chicagoan. She grew up in northwest suburban Elk Grove Village and graduated from Chicago’s DePaul University with a B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Spanish. She and her husband, the Honorable Mark Fary, currently reside in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood.