Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another near disaster at O'Hare

The first new O'Hare runway hasn't even opened yet, and the National Transportation Safety Board is reporting a near midair collision between two planes there.

While on-ground runway/taxiway incursions are the number one concern of aviation safety experts, it should be noted that the skies over O'Hare are near capacity. The difficulty of keeping approaching and departing planes separate was a principle reason that Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and federal aviation officials had agreed as far back as the 1980s to add airport capacity in the Chicago region in the southern suburbs.

That south suburban airport nearly became reality and could have been in operation today, relieving O'Hare delays and providing a safer alternative had not Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley used his political influence to halt the new airport because it would compete with O'Hare for jobs and contracts.

When it comes to airports, Chicago has never heard of safety first.

1 comment:

Karen Rowland said...

Perhaps O'Hare officials need to work more closely & demand better standards from its airlines to provide better service.

On July 23, United cancelled (the rumor was 53!) flights because of thunderstorms on the east coast. Can't control the weather, but weather is forecastable & I'm sorry to say that so is United's. It took them so long to deal with a situation that surely was expected because of forcasts but they also have obviously not trained their personnel to deal with problems. I will, however, salute the staff that went into the parked aircraft & retrieved blankets & pillows for all the stranded passengers.