than 800 flights canceled in Chicago due to weather, fire issues
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[October 03, 2014]
By Mary Wisniewski
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Incoming stormy
weather and operational problems caused by a fire last week at a
Chicago-area air traffic control facility forced the cancellation of
more than 800 flights on Thursday at Chicago airports.
More than 525 flights at O'Hare International Airport, one of the
world's busiest, have been canceled and delays are averaging 45
minutes, according to the city's department of aviation.
Nearly 300 flights were canceled at Chicago Midway International
Airport and some flight delays were averaging 40 minutes or more.
Southwest Airlines, the largest airline serving Midway, canceled all
flights after noon.
The National Weather Service said much of the Chicago area would get
about an inch of rain from severe thunderstorms on Thursday.
A fire last Friday forced the evacuation of the Federal Aviation
Administration control center in Aurora, Illinois, a Chicago suburb,
and severely affected air traffic, with thousands of flights
canceled in the first two days.
Brian Howard, 36, a field technician, was charged with a federal
felony count of destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities for
setting the fire, prosecutors said. He is being held without bond.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported on Wednesday that
arrivals and departures at the two airports were running above 85
percent of the average Wednesday air traffic over the past two
months at O'Hare and above 80 percent at Midway.
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The FAA said technicians were continuing around-the-clock work to
restore telecommunications service at the Aurora facility.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter
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