FAA: Flight caps at O'Hare may not be lifted instantly next year

Sunday, November 11, 2007

CHICAGO -- The Federal Aviation Administration said a cap on flights into O'Hare International Airport won't necessarily be lifted instantly next year when a new runway is scheduled to open.

The Chicago Tribune reported Saturday that if caps aren't lifted it may hamper the city's ability to pay for its planned $15 billion airport expansion.

The newspaper reported that FAA chief operating officer Henry Krakowski told a reporter Friday that a decision to keep the cap was aimed at improving delays and cancellations. The newspaper's front-page story called it a "policy reversal" on the part of the agency.

But after the story appeared, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory issued a written statement saying a final decision has not been made.

Krakowski "stated we 'may not' turn off the flight caps instantly," the statement read. "He did not say we plan to continue the flight caps permanently. He meant that we have not determined exactly how we will lift the flight caps and that we may consider a phased approach."

The cap limits arrivals to 88 per hour and is set to expire Oct. 31 to coincide with completion of the opening of the first new runway in the airfield expansion.

The FAA statement said the agency would continue to review O'Hare's operational data through October to determine if additional hourly arrivals would be authorized.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: