Illinois lawmakers in D.C. spotlight report on Chicago air traffic control woes
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Dist. 3) joined U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Reps. Tammy Duckworth (D-Dist. 8), Bill Foster (D-Dist. 11), Mike Quigley (D-Dist. 5) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Dist. 9)on Wednesday in revealing that a Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General's (IG) probe found that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s contingency plans and security protocols were insufficient at Chicago air traffic control facilities at the time of a 2014 fire at an Aurora facility.
“Last year’s incident at the air traffic control center in Aurora exposed vulnerabilities in a system that is extremely important to our state and our nation’s economic health and security," the group said in a statement. "The fire caused over $5.3 million in damages, impacted thousands of flights across the region and prevented the control center from controlling air traffic for more than two weeks. Today’s report underscores that concerns about weaknesses in the air traffic control infrastructure and a lack of flexibility to respond to such a crisis are not unique to Chicago, but likely apply at facilities across the country. The FAA has a lot of work to do to implement the Inspector General’s recommendations."