Posts Tagged: O’Hare

FAA shutdown could ground O’Hare expansion

The Federal Aviation Administration’s partial shutdown – where the chief debate is over whether or not the agency should provide subsidies to rural airports – has temporarily stopped airport construction projects country-wide dead in their tracks. The Chicago Tribune’s Jon Hilkevitch had a good piece yesterday on how the federal dispute could delay the already absurdly delayed expansion of O’Hare airport. Funding for a new runway could be halted, along with the dozens of other airport improvement projects across the country that rely on federal funds.

O’Hare expansion created dangerous conditions

The expansion of O’Hare airport is not just taking too long, it’s also taking too many chances. Jon Hilkevitch of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Federal Aviation Administration found several near-tragic incidents at Chicago’s O’Hare airport that were, in essence, caused by airport expansion construction. For example, one plane was inches away from crashing into a concrete blast fence erected to protect construction equipment. FAA said it will revise its daily alerts to O’Hare pilots as new runway construction gets underway.

LaHood enables O’Hare expansion

Ray LaHood

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation will give Chicago’s O’Hare international airport $155 million to help build a third runway as part of the O’Hare modernization plan. The way Chicago Tribune’s Jon Hilkevitch reports it, it seems like Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood probably sighed and said, “Okay, okay just give Chicago the damn money” before moving on to more interesting business. A recurring theme of O’Hare expansion is that Washington pushes the project along but airline companies and the city fail to take the next steps. (more…)

Air traffic out-of-control at O’Hare

The Federal Aviation Administration reports that mistakes have increased among O’Hare air traffic controllers, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Jon Hilkevitch. Most of the controllers’ mistakes involve not keeping a proper distance between planes, and they happen more while new air traffic controllers are being trained. O’Hare has trained more air traffic controllers in the past year due to the aiport’s planned expansion. Dept. of Transportation investigators are visiting O’Hare today to “examine staffing levels and other issues that affect safety.”

A lawsuit deferred is a lawsuit…

After meeting with U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, United and American airline executives postponed — by an entire week! — their lawsuit against the city of Chicago, reports Andrew M. Harris of Bloomberg. (more…)

The Rasputin of transportation plans

U.S. Dept. of Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood will meet with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the CEOs for both American and United airlines tomorrowto discuss Daley’s O’Hare expansion plan. As Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business reports, the airlines recently sued to block a city plan that would issue further bonds for the O’Hare expansion to build new runways. The airlines don’t want the runways until the economy — and their profits — get better. But Daley wants to push forward.

That Daley, in his waning months as mayor, wants to go to Washington, D.C. to save the O’Hare modernization plan should come as no surprise. (more…)

Airline Passengers XPosed!

The Chicago Tribune’s Jon Hilkevitch reports:

All airline passengers in the U.S. will eventually be required to undergo a full-body scan before boarding planes, just as metal detectors became a standard and accepted part of the screening process at airports decades ago, the federal transportation security chief in Chicago said Monday…

…The Transportation Security Administration plans to send hundreds of the scanners, which cost $130,000 to $170,000 each, to all major U.S. airports, including Midway Airport. The scanners use low-dose X-rays to penetrate clothing and display weapons, explosives and other objects that might be hidden on the body, above the skin. (more…)