Those arriving at O’Hare Airport on the CTA train at night must provide proof they have “business” there to be allowed in, officials said.
Chicago police officers will ask anyone arriving at the airport via the Blue Line between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to provide “proof of airport business,” such as an airline boarding pass or an employee badge, the Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement. declaration.
Those who cannot provide evidence will be rejected.
“To provide a safe environment at O’Hare International Airport, CDA security personnel work with the Chicago Police Department to enforce existing laws, which make it clear that it is illegal to be in Chicago airports without any airport activity,” said the airport organization. said.
The aviation department emphasized that the policy has been in effect since 2020. As a safe location, O’Hare does not allow members of the public to be at the airport unless they are flying in, out or working there.
It was unclear whether the policy applied to people picking up or dropping off travelers at the airport, but the agency said “all CTA customers exiting the Blue Line station” during those hours would be asked for proof of show things.
But enforcement of that policy appeared to have eased earlier in the winter before gaining additional attention in recent months after the number of unhoused seeking shelter at the airport drew nationwide attention and criticism.
In February, Mayor Lori Lightfoot acknowledged the seriousness of the problem but argued that conservative media outlets had blown the issue out of proportion.
“We have taken and will continue to take the necessary steps to remove people from the airports,” she said at the time. “The airports are a very different place than on the street under an underpass.”
Haymarket Center’s O’Hare Outreach Program, which connects people who are homeless and seeking shelter at the airport with resources, has said that while the number of people seeking shelter in O’Hare always increases during the winter months, the increase has been higher recently has been.
“We will continue to do what is necessary within the boundaries of the law to support those people – but elsewhere. They can’t be at our airports,” the mayor said.
However, the airport agency said enforcement of the policy was renewed as the Blue Line resumed 24-hour service to and from the airport last month. Previously, no trains ran from O’Hare to the Rosemont station from midnight to 4 a.m., a policy that began during the pandemic.
February saw an increased police presence at the airport. Including a cadre of agents stationed at the O’Hare Blue Line stop at the airport. They asked people entering the airport via the Blue Line to show their airline tickets or work IDs even before 10 p.m.