Hundreds Of Flight Cancellations, Delays Expected For Days To Come After Fire At Illinois Radar Facility

Chicago is still pretty miserable right now. (

Chicago is still pretty miserable right now. (

If you thought those poor souls lined up for all eternity at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Friday were the only people who’d have to deal with the aftermath of a fire that torched an air traffic control center, I have some very bad news for you: Hundreds more flights are expected to be canceled in the coming weeks, and there will be plenty of delays as well, while officials scramble to fix the damage to the system.

At least 1,300 flights were canceled in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports on Friday, 900 were chucked on Sunday and more than 400 are already off the boards for today, reports Businessweek, meaning this is one very big mess that will take awhile to clean up.

The Federal Aviation Administration said things are proceeding along and that the radar center in Aurora, IL should be back online on Oct. 13. Officials suspect that a disgruntled employee set the fire.

“The issue now is you’ve got so many crews and planes out of place,” a transportation consultant tells Businessweek. “You’ve got the chess pieces spread all over the board now and you need to get them all where they are supposed to be before things can get moving.”

No matter how fast the radar system is fixed, there are still all of those stranded passengers affected by cancellations and delays who need to get where they’ve been trying to go. That kind of demand is going to put a lot of pressure on airlines, meaning it could be a few days before those who are stuck can rebook.

Canceled Flights in U.S. May Last for Days Because of Sabotage [Businessweek]

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