Chicago O’Hare Cancels 600 Flights Due to Smoke in Radar Facility

United Airlines Boeing 757

United Airlines

Airlines flying into Chicago O’Hare International, the second-busiest airport in the U.S., were disrupted because of smoke in the radar facility that tracks planes in the area.

Canceled flights topped 600 at O’Hare and totaled about 75 at nearby Chicago Midway International, while other aircraft were delayed, the Chicago Department of Aviation said. Airport operations remained crimped even after the three-hour evacuation at a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration control center.

O’Hare’s status as a hub for American Airlines Group Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc., the largest U.S. carriers, spread the fallout beyond Chicago. While all departure routes out of O’Hare were open by 4 p.m. Chicago time, arrivals ran at only 75 percent of a typical weekday’s pace, said Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

After O’Hare, the airports most affected by canceled departures today were New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental, both of which are United hubs, according to industry data tracker FlightAware.

Bush trailed only O’Hare in the number of inbound cancellations, while Dallas-Fort Worth, a hub for American, was No. 2, FlightAware data showed.

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