Tag Archives: Midway

More than 500 flights canceled as snow falls across Chicago

(CHICAGO) More than 500 flights have been canceled as Chicago prepares for up to 4 inches of snow by Monday afternoon.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, 411 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport and 98 flights had been canceled at Midway International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Delays at O’Hare were averaging about 31 minutes, while delays at Midway were less than 15 minutes.

Snow started falling at O’Hare about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, but less than an inch had accumulated by 1 a.m. Monday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Donofrio. By 5:45 a.m., 2 inches of snow had fallen in north suburban Evanston and northwest suburban Woodstock.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until 1 p.m. Monday, with between 2 and 4 inches of snow accumulations expected in Lake, DuPage and Cook counties. Visibility will be reduced during periods of heavy snowfall and could make for difficult driving conditions, the weather service warned.

“The intensity of the snow will vary from time to time until (Monday) morning,” said meteorologist Gino Izzi. “It seems pretty likely we’ll be experiencing snow during rush hour, so I would plan on a longer than usual commute.”

Izzi said this will be the first time Chicago has recorded at least 1 inch of snow since Dec. 17, 2016, marking the city’s longest streak without snow ever recorded during the winter.

Lake effect snow could then develop Monday evening and continue overnight into Tuesday, adding to snowfall accumulations, the weather service said. Lake effect snow, which can produce very heavy snowfall, sometimes in excess of 2 inches per hour, could continue periodically through Tuesday afternoon.

Temperatures were expected to reach a high of about 30 degrees on Monday, the weather service said. The chance of snow was about 100 percent on Monday, with wind gusts as high as 20 mph. A high near 27 degrees was expected Tuesday, with an 80 percent chance of snow.

The city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed 287 snow plows overnight to tackle the snowy weather. The plows focus on salting and plowing arterial routes to ensure the roads are safe before moving to neighborhood streets, if necessary.

While Chicago braced for its first snowfall in months, larger snowstorms were expected on the East Coast. A blizzard watch was issued for the Boston area, with 12 to 18 inches of snow expected to fall over eastern Massachusetts as well as central and southern Rhode Island, according to the weather service.

© Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Bird strikes send 2 jets back to airports in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — Two jets each carrying more than 160 passengers have made safe emergency landings in northern Illinois following bird strikes.

Allegiant says Flight 1671 from Chicago Rockford International Airport to Punta Gorda, Florida, experienced a bird strike to its No.1 engine Thursday afternoon and the captain shut down the engine. It says the aircraft carrying 177 passengers and six members safely returned to Rockford, where passengers deplaned at the gate, and a replacement aircraft was being dispatched to carry them to Punta Gorda.

Southwest Airlines said Flight 105 from Chicago Midway International Airport to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas safely returned to Midway after a bird strike Thursday morning. Southwest says the 164 passengers and six crew members arrived in Las Vegas on another aircraft Thursday evening.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No injuries in fire on plane at Chicago’s Midway Airport

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago firefighters say no one was hurt after a small fire developed on an airplane at Midway International Airport.

The Fire Department says the blaze was reported in the engine compartment of a plane near Gate 7 shortly after noon Monday.

It says the blaze was put out with an extinguisher.

No passengers were aboard the plane at the time.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Chicago’s airports receive $56 million in federal grants

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s two major airports are receiving more than $56 million in federal grants for improvement projects and runway construction.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the Department of Transportation grants on Friday.

O’Hare International Airport is getting $45 million for runway construction and a taxiway system. Midway International Airport’s nearly $12 million grant will be used to improve a runway and minimize debris.

In a news release, Durbin says the grants “are crucial to traveler safety.” He says the money will help reduce runway wait times, moving travelers more quickly to and from Chicago.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Midway Airport gets TSA PreCheck Enrollment Center

(CHICAGO) Travelers interested in enrolling in the Transportation Security Agency’s PreCheck program can now begin the process at Midway International Airport.

A PreCheck enrollment center opened Monday in the baggage claim area of the airport near lower level door one, according to a release from the Chicago Department of Aviation.

To enroll in the TSA’s PreCheck program, travelers must first visit an enrollment center in person to begin the process, according to the CDA.

The enrollment center will be open Monday through Friday with hours from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2-7 p.m. on Mondays with Tuesdays; and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Travelers that enroll in TSA PreCheck get an expedited lane at more than 15o airports, including O’Hare. Enrolled travelers are not required to remove their shoes, light jackets, belts or remove laptop computers from their bags.

Walk-ins at the enrollment center are welcomed, but travelers can also make a reservation. A passport or other documents to prove citizenship and identity are required.

An application fee of $85 must be paid with a credit card, money order or certified check. Cash and personal checks are not accepted.

Durbin Asks Airlines to Suspend Baggage Fees

By Bill Cameron, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) While the TSA works to hire more people to help with the long screening lines that have hampered at O’Hare and Midway Airports, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) is working on a plan to help shrink lines.

Durbin says he’s arranged for Homeland Security to add 58 screeners and four more teams of bomb-sniffing dogs, but it’s going to take several weeks.

He’s also calling on the airlines to help speed up the lines by suspending baggage fees so that more passengers will check their baggage. He says the airlines can afford it.

“They’re making money and lets be honest about it, taking off on a plane that’s half empty because people are still standing, waiting to go through TSA, isn’t very profitable for an airline,” Durbin said. “It keeps their passengers unhappy and uncertain about future travel plans. So if the airlines will join us and forego a little bit of their profitability for a few months here, we can start to get this system working here.”

​So help is on the way, but it’s gonna take a while.

TSA Fix For Long Lines

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) There were incredible lines at Midway Airport yesterday and it’s something that is being seen across the country because of a lack of TSA agents. But the federal government says it has a fix.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says the long lines seen at airports across the country isn’t to the level of a national crisis.

“I would not characterize it as a national crisis. I do characterize our current situation as a aviation security imperative,” Johnson said Friday.

The department says it will immediately increase the use of overtime and work to quickly bring in more screening officers to help alleviate long lines. Still, Johnson warns that wait times are inevitable during the busy summer travel season.

Big John Howell Show Notes 4-19-16

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration on Monday unveiled the details of its last-ditch plan to put “Star Wars” filmmaker George Lucas’ museum along the lake. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration on Monday unveiled the details of its last-ditch plan to put the museum along the lake. Greg Hinz the Political Writer and Blogger for Crain’s Chicago Business joined John with details on the new plan. (Listen here)

There may be more armed people at O’Hare and Midway soon. A new ordinance by Alderman Chris Taliaferro, would change a long-standing policy that keeps aviation police officers unarmed when they are on duty at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. The aviation police officers are all certified law enforcement officers in the state of Illinois. Many work in suburban police departments or are military veterans. Chicago Police officers are there, and they are already armed. The aviation police don’t like the idea that they would actually be expected to run and hide if there’s an incident at the airport.

Donald Trump, who has made his advocacy for New York City after the 9/11 attacks central to his candidacy, accidentally referred to it on Monday as 7/11 — the ubiquitous convenience store.

A Muslim student says he was pulled from a Southwest flight at LAX because he spoke in Arabic. He was even questioned by the FBI. He was talking to a friend on the phone in Arabic and ended the conversation by saying “God willing” in Arabic. Some passengers around him heard him says “Allah” and basically freaked out.

An elementary school in Massachusetts has decided to ban Donald Trump’s image… sort of. A group of 11-year olds were planning on wearing giant masks of Trump during their dance routine for the school talent show. The kids said they picked Trump’s face just because it would look funny. The school wants nothing to do with that though.

Actress Doris Roberts has died at the age of 90. Most recently she was famous from Everybody Loves Raymond.

UPDATE: OSHA investigates fatal crash with luggage vehicle at Midway

(CHICAGO) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation after a man driving a luggage vehicle was killed in a crash Friday night at Midway International Airport on the Southwest Side.

About 11:20 p.m., 52-year-old Michael Yates was ejected from his luggage vehicle when it crashed into another luggage vehicle at Midway, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

Yates, of the 400 block of Heather Lane in Carol Stream, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. An autopsy Saturday found Yates died of multiple injuries suffered in the crash and his death was ruled an accident.

A Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman said the crash involved Southwest Airlines employees and referred all questions about the incident to Southwest and Chicago Police.

“After an accident involving ground equipment, one of our ramp agents at Chicago Midway passed away last night,” Southwest spokeswoman Melissa Ford said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time. Resources are on site to support our Southwest family at Midway.”

As of Monday morning, OSHA has opened an investigation into the incident, according to spokeswoman Rhonda Burke.

The police Major Accidents Investigation Unit is also investigating the crash.

TSA reviewing why travelers had to wait in long lines at Midway on Sunday

(Chicago)  The Transportation Security Administration acknowledged they were caught flat-footed Sunday when travelers at Midway Airport were confronted with a security line that was over a mile long, the Sun-Times reports.

“TSA is currently reviewing the causes of [Sunday’s] longer than usual wait times at [Midway] to prevent a similar occurrence in the future,” the TSA said in a statement released this week. “Unfortunately, some passengers experienced wait times that well exceeded 20 minutes on the morning of Nov. 30, the busiest travel day of the year.”

One of those travelers was Emma Cronin, 21, who was flying to Massachusetts.

She arrived at the airport Sunday morning an hour before her 9:50 a.m. “Getting through the lines usually takes 20 minutes,” Cronin said.

But she was floored to see a line that stretched all the way to the CTA station.

“The line continued all the way through the airport to the CTA Orange Line that goes to and from Midway,” Cronin said. “I was very nervous about missing my flight.”

Her story was just one of many, with some travelers taking to Twitter to kvetch about the security line delays.

“Alright it’s official I hate Midway Airport,” tweeted one frustrated traveler.

The wait hit its peak length between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., the Chicago Aviation Department said Sunday.

Sunday was the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday, TSA officials said. One reason they were caught unprepared was because a security checkpoint was not opened early to account for the increased volume, the agency said. Officials also attributed delays to early morning staffing levels that were less than anticipated.

“The agency constantly seeks to improve the passenger experience at security checkpoints nationwide, including at Chicago Midway International Airport,” the TSA said in the statement.


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