Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers continued to increase the volume of flights for air travelers into and out of the Chicago-area airports today. By noon local time, more than 80 percent of the average Monday traffic for the past two months was flying in and out of O’Hare, and more than 90 percent of the two-month Monday average traffic was operating at Midway.
The first shipment of replacement communications equipment arrived at the Chicago En Route Center in Aurora, IL overnight, and technicians started cable work, configuration and installation today. The FAA expects additional shipments of equipment to arrive tonight and tomorrow night and has technicians and material available to start quickly installing the equipment as it arrives.
Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta are putting full resources behind the effort to minimize the impact on travelers and restore Chicago Center to full capacity.
Huerta today announced a 30-day review of contingency plans in the event of unexpected outages at major air traffic facilities around the country and security protocols and practices at FAA facilities. The FAA already has made security staffing adjustments at select facilities and has added additional guards at Chicago Center while cleanup crews and other visitors are working in the facility. The agency also has raised security awareness at all of its air traffic facilities around the country, refreshing security best practices and protocols. The FAA is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for its workforce and to ensuring the security of its critical facilities and equipment.
The Department of Transportation and the FAA appreciate the patience of the traveling public and the cooperation of its aviation partners and hard-working employees as it works on restoring full air traffic services as quickly as possible.