Chicago air traffic is vulnerable to weather delays even in the best of times. These are not the best of times for the FAA.
Overnight storms combined with the crippled Aurora radar center to turn O’Hare and Midway Airports into makeshift camp grounds again this morning.
About 225 flights have been cancelled at O’Hare and other 125 at Midway, with hundreds others delayed.
Anticipating the poor weather, airlines cancelled 850 flights yesterday.
It’s too much for the air traffic control system to handle with the Tracon Radar Center in Aurora knocked off line by a fire.
That fire a week ago is blamed on a government contractor, Brian Howard, who police say cut control cables and burned them before trying to kill himself.
He was reportedly upset over a transfer to Hawaii.
Today F-A-A Administrator Michael Huerta will tour the Aurora facility to see how repairs are going.
He’ll be joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the agency’s back up plans and response to the fire.
The target date to get the center back to full operation is October 13..