Fire at Chicago air traffic control facility impacts flights throughout the midwest

Sep 26, 2014

A screen shot provided by FlightAware shows airline traffic at 10:20 a.m. EDT Friday over the United States. A fire at a Chicago-area air traffic control facility has grounded hundreds of flights.
Credit Associated Press
A fire at a suburban Chicago air traffic control facility halted all flights in and out of the city's two airports, and is impacting flights throughout the Midwest.

Gene Olson is the Director of the General Wayne Downing Peoria International Airport. He says the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora controls much of the airspace in the area. Olson says that impacts any flights needing to traverse through the state.

“I expect for this to ripple through for a couple of days because the people that are inconvenienced today need to be re-accommodated. The airlines are flying around with very high usage of their capacity. So the airplanes are 80 to 90% full, and there just aren’t a whole lot seats available to re-book people,” said Olson.

Olson says those flying in and out of Peoria should contact their airlines to make sure their flights aren’t canceled or delayed.

Aurora police say a Federal Aviation Administration contract employee intentionally set the fire at the traffic control facility. They say it was not a terrorist act and the investigation is being run by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and local police and fire departments.

Flight schedules out of the Peoria International Airport are available here.