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NEWS Last modified on August 31, 2012

Sister Act! Chicago O'Hare and UK's Birmingham Airport sign trade agreement

Chicago O'Hare International Airport and the UK’s Birmingham Airport have become “sister airports”.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport and the UK’s Birmingham Airport have become “sister airports”.

The pair have formalised their relationship and will work to develop new opportunities.

The priority is to reinstate direct flights between the two cities.

Members of the executive management teams from the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and Birmingham Airport signed a memorandum of understanding this week, agreeing to work together to strengthen trade, tourism and cultural links.

Birmingham Airport is the third largest airport in the UK outside of London and handles nine million passengers annually.

O'Hare is the largest airport in the Midwest region, and one of the busiest airports in the world, handling nearly 67 million passengers in 2011.

CDA commissioner, Rosemarie Andolino said: “Through promotion, we will enhance business, commerce, trade, tourism and cultural relations between the two cities, and share information and best practices relating to operations, construction, planning, customer service and cost management.”

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s CEO, added: “Birmingham enjoys a special relationship with Chicago as the two cities have been twinned since 1993. Over 350 North American companies, including Microsoft, Motorola and Kraft Foods – which is headquartered in Chicago – provide employment for 60,000 people in the area.

“This formal partnership will show industry that we're committed to strengthening links further and pushing for the reinstatement of direct flights between the two cities, which ceased to operate 11 years ago in the wake of 9/11.”

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