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Chicago Airports’ FAA Center Back Online


The Chicago En Route Center resumed full operation early Monday morning, 17 days after an act of arson heavily damaged the FAA facility in Aurora, Ill.

Crews reopened the Chicago En Route Center in Aurora, Ill., shortly after midnight on Monday morning. The FAA control center, which handles air traffic in one of the world’s busiest air corridors, including all flights through O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), has been offline since September 26, when a deliberately set fire damaged the facility.

More than 200 employees who were dispatched to other facilities have been recalled to the Chicago En Route Center in order to resume full operations. Technical crews who traveled to Aurora to oversee the restoration efforts will remain at the facility until Tuesday to “monitor system performance and ensure a smooth transition,” according to a press release from the FAA.

For more than two weeks, flyers have faced headaches while air traffic controllers dealt with the loss of the radar facility and severe weather in the region. FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta, however, had nothing but praise for the way the agency dealt with the crisis, stating in the agency’s press release:

I am extremely proud of all the FAA employees who have worked tirelessly over the past two weeks to return this important facility to full operation so quickly; I’m equally proud of the employees who immediately pitched in and worked together to smoothly manage the huge volume of flights that travel through the Chicago area every day.

The FAA is currently in the midst a 30-day review, examining disaster contingency plans and security protocols at its facilities in the wake of the arson at its Aurora control tower.

[Photo: iStock]

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Phanto October 14, 2014

I sure wish I could punch that guy...