Air traffic control tower at Chicago's Midway Airport closes due to coronavirus infections, airport still open

The FAA announced that the air traffic control tower at Chicago's Midway Airport will temporarily close.

This announcement came after several workers at the facility tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Tuesday. In a statement, the FAA said that while the airport will remain open, operations will continue at a reduced rate.

According to the FAA, this shutdown is part of 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."

According to the FAA, this shutdown is part of 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." (iStock)

According to statement released by the FAA, "The air traffic control tower at Midway Airport is temporarily closing while we ensure a safe work environment for air traffic controllers and technicians. Earlier today, several technicians at the facility tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The airport remains open and operations will continue at a reduced rate until the situation is resolved."

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The statement continued, explaining this shutdown is part of 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."

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The statement concluded, "The safety of our staff and the traveling public is the FAA's top priority. Our controllers, inspectors and others with critical safety or security sensitive roles are essential components of our national airspace. The FAA continues to maintain close contact with airports, airlines and other stakeholders during this situation."

In a separate statement, the FAA confirmed that the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach in Elgin, Ill., will assist Midway Airport with services to pilots. The FAA also reiterated that Midway Airport is remaining open.

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Earlier this week, it was reported that a TSA worker at the Orlando International Airport in Florida had tested positive for the virus as well. It was reported that the worker will remain at home until cleared by a doctor and that other TSA employees who worked closely with the infected worker have also been advised to stay home for 14 days.