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 87 million passengers, more than one million operations and 1.4 million tons of cargo each year and have an annual operating budget of $1 billion.

O’Hare International is the busiest airport in the world for operations. In 2013, O’Hare handled more than 883,000 operations and nearly 67 million passengers. More than 50 passenger carriers provide service to over 230 destinations across the globe. O’Hare is also a leader in the air cargo industry, serving more than 30 cargo airlines and ranking sixth in North America and 17th 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 252,000 operations and 20.4 million passengers at Midway in 2013, the most ever in the airport’s 87-year history. Six airlines at Midway provide service to 80 destinations.

Since Andolino was appointed as Aviation Commissioner in April 2009, the CDA has enhanced the airports’ concessions programs, increased concessions sales and grown non-airline revenue. The CDA has raised the bar for airport dining and diversified the airports’ offerings by introducing fresh, healthy options, unique Chicago flavor and more sit-down restaurants. In 2014, the CDA unveiled the $26 million transformation of International Terminal 5 featuring 24 new dining and luxury retail locations, and the first walk-through style duty-free store in North America. Total concessions sales at Chicago’s airports have increased by an average of nearly seven percent each year since 2009 to reach over $470 million in 2013. Since 2009, net parking revenue at O’Hare has increased by seven percent to $95.6 million in 2013, and has increased by 17 percent at Midway to $32.7 million in 2013.

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, Hainan Airlines and Emirates, that is estimated to generate more than $2.8 billion in annual economic impact for the region. Through a partnership between the CDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2013, O’Hare became the first airport in the United States to implement industry-leading Automated Passport Control (APC) technology to improve the customer experience for international travelers. Average CBP wait times at O’Hare have been reduced to approximately 15 minutes and the technology was expanded to Midway in 2014.

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 layout 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. Construction is currently underway on Runway 10R-28L and the South Airport Traffic Control Tower, which will both be commissioned on October 15, 2015.

Andolino’s leadership has brought the CDA to the forefront for airport sustainability. O’Hare is home to the world’s first aeroponic garden in an airport, the first and largest apiary at an airport in the U.S. and a successful landscape management program featuring a herd of rescued goats, sheep, llamas and burros. Chicago’s airports have more than 330,000 square feet of green roof space on 14 buildings, including the largest airport green roof in the U.S. on the FedEx Sort Building at O’Hare. She led the creation of the internationally-acclaimed OMP Sustainable Design Manual in 2003 followed by the Sustainable Airport Manual (SAM) in 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 (ENR) 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 2010 Heartland Sustainability Award, Urban Land Institute 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 seventh year.

In 2014, Commissioner Andolino was named by Premier Traveler magazine as one of the “30 Most Compelling Women in the Travel Industry.” In 2013, she received the “Excellence in Public Service” award from the Civic Federation and Motorola Solutions Foundation, was included in Crain's Chicago Business’ “Who’s Who in Chicago” and was named among the top women in transportation by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. 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. In 2010, the CDA was honored by the Federal Aviation Administration with an award for “commitment to continuous improvement that makes O’Hare Airport the safest and most efficient airport in the world.”

Andolino is a member of: the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) Gateway Airports Council, USTA Chairman’s Circle and USTA Board of Directors; the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB), TTAB Infrastructure Subcommittee and TTAB Entry Subcommittee; the United States Customs and Border Protection User Fee Advisory Committee (UFAC) and UFAC Process Improvements Subcommittee; the World Travel and Tourism Council; the International Air Transport Association and Choose Chicago’s Board of Directors. She is former Chair of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Legislative Alliance, a member of its Policy Review Committee and a member of the International Association of Airport Executives Board of Directors. Andolino is the North America Regional Advisor for the Airport Council International World Governing Board, and is a member of Airport Council International-North America (ACI-NA) and ACI-NA Goals/Programs Board. Andolino also serves on the State of Illinois Elgin-O'Hare West Bypass Advisory Council; Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative Steering Committee; O’Hare Express Rail Blue Ribbon Committee; Lambda Alpha International, Ely Chapter; Bradley University Civil Engineering & Construction Advisory Board; DePaul University International Aviation Law Institute Advisory Board; Transportation Research Board – Airport Cooperative Research Program; International Aviation Women’s Association; Women in Aviation; Women in Transportation Greater Chicago Chapter Advisory Board; SOS Children’s Villages Illinois; Italian American Executives of Transportation; Eno Center for Transportation; and the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association.

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.