Coronavirus Forces Hundreds of Flights to be Canceled at Chicago Airport

Chicago’s Midway International Airport is facing hundreds of cancellations after several air traffic control technicians tested positive for coronavirus.

According to the Chicago Daily Herald, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Tuesday the airport would remain open, but operations would be limited after the air traffic control tower was shut down for a thorough cleaning.

The FAA will utilize a “resilient system with multiple backups,” including the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach tower in Elgin, Illinois. The official Twitter account of Midway airport shared details of the closure.

Midway is open, but flight operations remain limited. Please consult with your airline.

As a result of the air traffic control tower shutdown, Southwest Airlines announced it would be temporarily suspending service to and from Midway. The carrier said it would provide alternate accommodations for impacted passengers.

According to, over 325 flights in and out of the Chicago airport were canceled Wednesday after 184 flights were canceled Tuesday night.

“We ceased operations at the Chicago Midway airport due to the closure of an FAA ATC tower in the Chicago area, impacting all airlines who operate at the airport,” a Southwest spokesperson told the Daily Herald.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Travel Association announced it projects an $809 billion hit on the U.S. economy and the loss of 4.6 million travel-related jobs in the country.

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