Midway air traffic control tower back in business
Midway International Airport's air traffic control tower is operational again after being sidelined because of COVID-19 exposure, the Federal Aviation Administration reported Tuesday.
Technicians at the tower tested positive for the respiratory disease March 17. The tower closed immediately after for cleaning, resulting in hundreds of flight cancellations at the airport.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 940 out of 2,520 flights had been canceled in the previous 24 hours at the airport, or 37% -- marking a significant improvement from Monday when 67 percent were canceled out of an already reduced schedule of 502 flights.
Much of the air traffic in and out of Midway was been handed off to the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach Control facility in Elgin.
The exposed Midway employees are in self-quarantine, and officials are tracing their contacts. The Midway tower is one of 11 FAA airport facilities affected by spiraling cases of COVID-19.
"Every air traffic control facility in the country has a contingency plan to keep air traffic moving safely when events impede normal operations," the FAA stated.