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Why Chicago’s O’Hare Airport is Coded as ORD

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport stands among the world’s busiest hubs, recognized by its airport code, ORD, which appears on flight reservations, luggage tags, and airfare tickets.

Unlike airports with more straightforward codes like LAX for Los Angeles International or DFW for Dallas-Fort Worth, O’Hare’s code has a unique origin.

Why is O’Hare called ORD?

O’Hare International Airport was originally situated on a site known as Orchard Field, sometimes referred to as Orchard Place. The abbreviation ORD derives from Orchard = ORcharD.

The Chicago Department of Aviation explains that Orchard Field was officially renamed O’Hare International Airport by the Chicago City Council in 1949. This renaming was a tribute to Lieutenant Commander Edward “Butch” O’Hare, a Medal of Honor recipient and World War II naval aviator from Chicago.

O’Hare began serving commercial air traffic in 1955, welcoming 176,902 passengers in its inaugural year.

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