FAA air traffic controllers handled fewer than average flights in and out of the Chicago area today because of thunderstorms. Airlines often choose to cancel or delay flights into areas of severe weather and several airlines prepared for the severe weather in advance by cancelling flights in and out of Midway and O’Hare.
As of 12 noon, CDT, air traffic operations at O’Hare were more than 80 percent of the two-month average rate for a Thursday at O’Hare and about 60 percent of the two-month average for Midway. The FAA continues to monitor the weather for the next several days and is working with the airlines to safely get passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible.
The FAA has established specific routes to handle additional flights expected in the South Bend area before and after Saturday’s Notre Dame-Stanford football game, and does not expect the additional traffic to affect or delay daily operations at the other Chicago-area airports.
More than 140 air traffic controllers from Chicago Center are now working at other en route centers, Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities and towers. Thirty-five controllers are working at the Chicago TRACON in Elgin, IL and11 are working at O’Hare, Midway and Rockford towers. Another 70 Chicago Center controllers are working at en route centers for Minneapolis, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Kansas City, and 26 are staffing TRACONS in Moline, IL, South Bend, IN, Volk Field, WI, Peoria, IL, Milwaukee, WI and Green Bay, WI.
Dozens of FAA technicians from the Chicago area and other parts of the country are making significant progress in restoring the telecommunications equipment and cabling at the Chicago En Route Center in Aurora, IL. They have powered up a number of critical systems that were not damaged by the fire and have installed all of the new telecommunications racks. They are working around-the-clock installing the 10 miles of cable that connects the new and existing equipment and properly configuring and testing all of the systems.