Yes, yes, and yes. As I've written in a couple of other threads the past couple of days, O'Hare's snowflake runway layout is an inefficient nightmare. The same piece of property, laid out like DFW, could support double or more the traffic.
Fortunately, Mayor Daley this summer proposed just that--to rip up most of O'Hare's runways in sequence and reconfigure them into a layout that is identical to DFW's, which is the most efficient and capacious in the world. It would only require adding one new net runway, which is much more politically feasible (and operationally sound) than adding two runways to the existing nightmare layout.
Whether Democrat Daley gets his plan past the Republican suburban-NIMBY-dominated state gov't is another question. I argued in the other threads that AA and UA should play hardball if the NIMBYs delay the project: either stand down, or we take thousands of jobs, millions of passengers, and billions of dollars out of Illinois.
AA has STL and DFW to absorb traffic, and UA has DEN and IAD. It would not be difficult for them to move, say 10 million domestic pax apiece from O'Hare to their other hubs. All of these airports except DEN, which doesn't need one, are in the process of building approved-and-stamped-by-the-FAA runways. It's time to rumble with the Suburban O'Hare Commission.
That's how important Daley's plan is to the future of O'Hare, Illinois' largest economic engine, which will continue to lose traffic unless its runway capacity is substantially expanded. I'm a Republican and don't like Daley's politics, but boy is he right in a big way about O'Hare. UA and AA should throw all their political weight behind O'Hare reconfiguration.
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)