Air traffic control center fire causes major flight disruptions nationwide

An arson fire at an air traffic control center in metropolitan Chicago has caused major headaches for fliers traveling to or through Chicago and, to a somewhat lesser extent, to travelers nationwide.

Empty skies over Chicago
The fire, which was apparently set by a disgruntled contractor at the air traffic control center in Aurora, halted traffic at the city’s two main airport – O’Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) – for about four hours on Friday, resulting in the cancellation of more than 1,700 flights. Flights resumed on a limited basis late in the day.

The image at right shows the skies over and around Chicago devoid of air traffic during the incident.

While authorities are not sure of the 36-year-old man’s motivation, they were quick to point out the fire was not an act of terrorism perpetrated by a militant organization.

Read the full Reuters account here.

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