CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has opened work on a second phase of a $220 million northeast cargo development at O’Hare International Airport .

Emanuel was joined Thursday by officials from the Chicago Department of Aviation and cargo space owner Aeroterm .

Officials say the development is ahead of schedule. It’s in response to demand for moving air cargo through Chicago to worldwide markets.

The city said O’Hare’s air cargo volume is already up 15 percent over last year. It’s on pace to handle nearly 2 million metric tons this year.

The Northeast Cargo development expands the airport’s cargo operations. It’s funded by $160 million from Aeroterm and $62 million in airport funds. The 240,000 square foot (about 22,000 square meters) is home to Burak , Cargolux and Swissport cargo handlers.