Air traffic controllers who normally work at the Federal Aviation Administration's Chicago En Route Center in Aurora, IL are now working at other surrounding FAA air traffic facilities to help safely maximize the traffic flow in and out of the Chicago-area airports while the FAA and its telecommunications contractor, Harris Corporation repair damaged communications equipment at Chicago Center. Some Chicago Center controllers also are traveling to other high-altitude air traffic centers near Minneapolis, Kansas City, Indianapolis and Cleveland to assist controllers at those locations and minimize disruptions for travelers.
The FAA steadily has increased the number of flights arriving and departing at O'Hare and Midway. Air traffic controllers safely managed about 60 percent of typical traffic today at O'Hare and over 75 percent at Midway.
The agency also has reduced delays in the Chicago area airports by developing new communication and flight plan processing solutions. The FAA reestablished consistent arrival and departure rates at Chicago area airports, providing airlines with needed predicability to build flight schedules. The agency is using all existing tools to maximize operations, and is developing new capabilities where necessary to return to normal service levels in the Chicago area.
The FAA has brought in its best technicians from around the country to expedite the replacement of the central communications network at Chicago Center. The first shipment of replacement equipment is scheduled to arrive late tonight, and additional deliveries will occur over the next few days. Teams will be working around the clock to install equipment, run cable and restore network connections at the facility. The FAA has set a target to return Chicago Center to full service by October 13.
The FAA's entire workforce is working around the clock to continue taking travelers to their destinations as safely and efficiently as possible. The FAA wants to thank its dedicated staff and partners in Chicago and other parts of the country for stepping up quickly, creatively and enthusiastically to keep the system moving.