Chicago O'Hare Air Traffic Control Tower

Airport buildings must not only protect thousands of passengers, crew and visitors every day, but they must also meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air-blast requirements.

When the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, needed a new air traffic control tower and base building, they knew Hinman’s engineers could achieve both.

For this project, Hinman provided structural analysis to comply with FAA Document 1600.69B FAA Facility Security Management Program’s air-blast requirements and analyzed a number of representative structural elements for their responses to air-blast effects, given designated explosive threats.  

A steel structure and braced lateral system support the one-story base building while reinforced concrete-stacked cylinders support the tower’s 245-foot height. Insulating panels flank the cab’s vision panels, above and below, while a concrete-metal deck spans between horizontal beams on the roof.

Hinman’s technical services included:

  • Determination of critical threat locations
  • Calculation of air-blast parameters (pressure, impulse, shock front velocity)
  • Dynamic non-linear analysis of individual elements
  • Dynamic non-linear analysis of multi-elements multi-material window curtainwall system.
  • Comparison of results to evaluation criteria, consistant with the required level of protection to determine predicted response.
  • Computations using BAM, our in-house program which uses non-linear dynamic structural analysis using energy methods, lumped mass models and empirical relations developed from explosive test data.