Traveling to and from the two main Chicago airports continues to be a dismal experience for many, with hundreds of flights canceled Thursday due to approaching storms. This comes not long after a radar facility grounded many planes, and the air traffic system in the region is still somewhat limited as a result.
More than 700 flights through Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport were canceled by 11:15 a.m., as reported by flight-tracking site FlightAware.com. Additional cancellations are still looming as severe thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon and evening, some expected to bring “damaging winds”, according to the National Weather Service.
This isn’t the first issue Chicago airports have experienced as of late. A fire last week at a facility in Aurora, Ill., caused the cancellation of thousands of flights and forced a ground stop. Once flights resumed, they did so at a slower rate, with fewer planes being able to travel to and from O’Hare and Midway. As of Wednesday afternoon, about 85 percent of typical air traffic was traveling through O’Hare and 80 percent of typical air traffic was traveling through Midway, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The FAA is closely monitoring weather forecasts for the Chicago area for the next several days and is working with the airlines to plan for predicted thunderstorms or severe weather in the Chicago area,” the agency said in a statement.
October 13. Marks the date the facility will be at full service, the FAA said. Replacement equipment arrived this week; however it is in the process of being installed.
Problems in Chicago – home to two of the busiest airports in the country – can be felt nationwide. O’Hare is the second-busiest airport in the country, following behind only Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International. Cancellations and delays at places like O’Hare in turn cause problems for passengers who miss connecting flights and planes that are supposed to continue on to additional airports.