Chicago ATC Center Slowly Recovering

The FAA says air traffic levels at Chicago O'Hare were the busiest in the country yesterday as technicians continue around-the-clock work to restore computer systems at the Chicago En Route Center in Aurora, Illinois, that were badly damaged by fire last Friday.

Officials are closely monitoring weather forecasts for the Chicago area for the next several days and are working with the airlines to plan for predicted thunderstorms or severe weather in the Chicago area.

Workers at Chicago Center have installed some new communications equipment, but also must lay 10 miles of new cable and restore service to hundreds of electrical circuits and switches at the facility. Cleaning crews, meanwhile, have finished restoration work on most of the undamaged equipment and are continuing to clean the ventilation system, which was damaged by smoke.

The FAA says a contract employee allegedly set the fire before attempting to commit suicide. He has been arrested and charged with destruction of aircraft systems.

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