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Sat, Apr 16, 2005

FAA Investigates Radar Outage At O'Hare

Dozens Of Outbound Flights Delayed

The FAA Saturday was investigating a critical radar outage that left dozens of flight departing from O'Hare groundbound for short periods of time. Inbound flights were ordered to hold and spacing between arrivals was increased for safety.

The outage began at approximately 1740 local, according to FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro. While 63 outbound flights were delayed, he said none of the delays were longer than 15 minutes.

But the outage raised what controllers say is a critical issue at ORD -- the need for more radars.

"Dallas has four radars, and Atlanta has five, said ORD NATCA rep Ray Gibbons in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. "Meanwhile, the FAA says it can't justify a second radar at O'Hare, the world's busiest airport."

Molinaro, however, said radar coverage at ORD is adequate and passengers are in no danger. He said a second radar may be considered as O'Hare is expanded under Mayor Richard Daley's pending plan.

FMI: www.ohare.com

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