CHICAGO (CBS) — O’Hare International Airport will open five new gates on Friday, the first major addition of gates in 25 years.

After more than two years of construction, American Airlines will unveil the new gates in Terminal 3 at 9:15 a.m. Friday.

The last time the airport had any major gate expansion was in 1993, when Terminal 5 was built.

Officials believe the five new gates will benefit travelers in several different ways, including better on-time performance, improved airport amenities, and added travel options.

American Airlines paid for the $70 million project. The gates will be used only for regional American Airlines flights.

An airline spokesperson told the Chicago Business Journal the expansion will help “free up existing gates for more mainline flights.”

The new gates are not part of the $8.5 billion plan to renovate and expand the terminals at O’Hare. That project would add dozens of gates at O’Hare by replacing Terminal 2 with a new Global Terminal with wider concourses, renovating the other three terminals, and adding two new satellite concourses.

The deal would be funded by higher fees charged to the major airlines. No taxpayer dollars would be used for the project.

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