Radar Center Problem Snarls Chicago Air Traffic

MGN Online

CHICAGO (AP) -- Air traffic controllers at Chicago's two international airports are working to get aircraft moving into and out of the facilities after an earlier electrical problem sent smoke into a regional radar facility, forcing officials to temporarily halt air traffic.

The smoke at the Elgin Terminal Radar Approach Control, or TRACON, building forced its evacuation Tuesday. As a result, flights into and out of O'Hare and Midway airports were grounded.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said controllers returned after the smoke was cleared about three hours later. They immediately went to work clearing delayed arrivals or departures.

As flight operations resumed, departures were delayed about 90 minutes Tuesday at O'Hare and 2 1/2 hours at Midway.

Officials said about 1,000 fights were canceled at O'Hare and 120 at Midway.

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