Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports now have their own radio stations.
The 24-hour “AIR Chicago” was created for the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) by Clear Chanel Airports, a division of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., and features smooth jazz music interspersed with airport traffic and weather reports, business news, information about the airports and advertising.
Clear Channel has the indoor advertising contract at the Chicago airports “and this was an opportunity to start a different kind of branding, get more people interested in what we do at the airport, and reach out to a lot more people,” said Karen Pride, CDA spokeswoman.
Pride said the CDA has already recorded “vignettes” about holiday travel that will begin running on AIR Chicago in December and is working on others that might cover everything from sustainability efforts underway at the airports to the art and live music programs offered. There might also be opportunities for airline partners to record messages.
“There are a lot of applications that could be integrated into AIR Chicago,” said Pride. “The possibilities are endless.”
The AIR Chicago programming can be found on iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio app, on the CDA’s website, and on Clear Channel’s local HD2 digital station, WKSC-FM/103.5 KISS FM.
While AIR Chicago is the first 24-hour radio station dedicated to information about the Chicago airports, it is not the first airport radio station. Some airports, such as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, have low-power AM radio stations broadcasting airport parking and traffic information, with the audio also available online. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport offers a web radio player showcasing northwest music.