Rep. Jackson is right on this issue. Airspace is a finite commodity when it comes to ATC. Adding runways will not increase the area’s throughput.
Airspace can be more efficiently utilized by more precise radars which allow the aircraft to be more closely spaced, but there is a limit. Studies of the Chicago enroute, terminal and tower airpaces, including the interation of the existing airports (which are not just O’Hare and Midway) and the flow from these airfields to the upper atmosphere routes, demonstrate that the limits to these corridors in the sky are near. Unfortunately, when the planning for O’Hare was done, the geometry of today’s flight patterns were not incorporated; MDW and ORD are just too close together.
Rep. Jackson is right– Chicago’s long term aviation capacity is best served by building new runways distant from ORD and MDW. The 3rd airport would add capacity, while adding runways at O’Hare is really only a zero sum game (not a gain).Share this article: