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Changes in traffic control at O'Hare International Airport
Traffic control operations at Chicago O'Hare International Airprot, as well as numerous Chicagoland area airports, are scheduled to be significantly reduced or eliminated. The cuts come as part of the across-the-board spending cuts known as the "sequestration". The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is eliminating FAA at lower-priority airports, and overnight staff at hub airports. The airports will be open to traffic, but pilots will operate without air traffic control personnel.
The North Tower of O'Hare, the least critical of the three towers for the airport, is set to close. While operations at O'Hare will continue, the closure of the north tower will have a ripple effect on the operations of the other two towers. This raises the possibility of significant reduction of the traffic capacity of O'Hare.
Airports that will lose air traffic controllers include Gary/Chicago International Airport, as well as regional airports in Waukegan, Decatur, Bloomington-Normal, Carbondale-Murphysboro, Alton, and Kenosha. Overnight service will be eliminated at Midway Airport, DuPage Airport, Aurora Municipal Airport, and Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.