The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that the air traffic control tower (ATCT) at Chicago Midway International Airport in the US has been closed after several employees tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The confirmation was provided yesterday that technicians working at Chicago Midway’s ATCT, known as MDW Tower, had tested positive for Covid-19.
The facility has been temporarily closed as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the viral infection.
Access to the tower will be limited until further notice, with flight operations at the airport moving to the ‘one-in-one-out’ concept. Therefore, the airport will remain open.
In a statement, the FAA said: “The FAA continues to maintain close contact with airports, airlines and other stakeholders during this situation. The air traffic system is a resilient system with multiple backups in place.
“This shift is a regular execution of a longstanding contingency plan to ensure continued operations. Each facility across the country has a similar plan that has been updated and tested in recent years.”
The global aviation industry has been significantly affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, with several travel restrictions, flight cancellations and bans in place.
Meanwhile, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has ordered all aviation safety workers at Chicago Midway International Airport to be tested for the virus.
NATCA said in a statement: “We are encouraged that the FAA is pursuing the rapid testing of all personnel at MDW Tower.
“We applaud the FAA for taking the important and necessary step in moving air traffic services from MDW Tower to the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach Control facility (TRACON, C90) while MDW Tower is disinfected by outside professionals.”