FAA Revamps Systems After Chicago Air Traffic Control Fire

November 26, 2014

The Federal Aviation Administration is revamping its systems following the September sabotage and fire at a suburban Chicago air traffic control center that disrupted travel nationwide.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Monday the agency is working to reduce its response time to a major facility outage from days to hours. It took more than two weeks to fully repair the suburban Chicago center.

Huerta says broader security and technology upgrades depend on Congress providing the funds.

A 36-year-old contract worker set fire to communications equipment at the Aurora, Illinois, regional control center before trying to commit suicide. The fire caused more than 2,000 canceled flights and brought Chicago’s two international airports to a standstill.

Huerta says the incident cost the FAA “in the millions” and reportedly cost the airlines $350 million.

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