American Airlines opposed to Chicago airport expansion plan

American Airlines Boeing 737 (File photo)

CHICAGO (AP) _ American Airlines says it’s opposed to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $8.5 billion deal to expand O’Hare International Airport.

The airline said Wednesday that it can’t sign a lease in its current form “because of a secret provision, inserted at the last minute” that awards additional gates to United Airlines.

Emanuel introduced the plan at Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting. His spokesman, Adam Collins, said the plan “is about positioning Chicago to compete with Beijing, Paris and Abu Dhabi, not about positioning in the decades-old competition between two airlines.”

The eight-year plan would be the single largest and most expensive terminal revamp in the airport’s history. The goal is to increase the number of international flights and create more room for domestic carriers. The project would aim to be completed in 2026.