The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated Tuesday it was temporarily closing the air traffic control tower at Chicago Midway International Airport after three technicians tested positive for COVID-19, prompting contingency plans at the airport and other centers across the nation.
The FAA shut the tower at 5 p.m. and it was going to be cleaned again. It was unclear when it would reopen. Arriving and departing pilots will declare their presence and intentions via airport frequencies.
The company issued a temporary ground stop after it shut the tower; however, it was not anticipated to last for a significant interval.
Southwest Airlines accounts for the majority of visitors at Chicago’s Midway.
The FAA mentioned in a statement that “the air traffic system is a resilient system with multiple backups in place. This shift is a regular execution of a long-standing contingency plan to ensure ongoing operations.”
The FAA stated previously the Halfway Control Tower had been cleaned in accordance with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).
The diagnoses are in addition to three separate cases that the FAA revealed to its employees in a letter Monday, the first positive coronavirus cases among the agency’s employees.
One of the staff works at FAA headquarters in Washington, another at an aviation safety district office in Chicago and the third in finance and management in the company’s Eastern Region in a full-time telework capability, the FAA stated.