AReCO in the News
Daily Herald Letter
Too many flights in space over O'Hare
This is in reaction to the article regarding the Potomac Tracon referenced in June 2003 issue of Airport Report.
The Potomac Tracon is the Baltimore-Washington area, a busy airspace, which includes traffic for Baltimore-Washington International (BWI), Dulles International, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Richmond and Andrews Air Force Base airports.
The article states that the area of the Potomac Tracon is 23,000 square miles and accommodates 5,000 operations per day and 1.825 million operations per year. That is an average of less than one fourth of an operation per day per square mile and approximately 80 operations per year per square mile.
To make a striking comparison and express concern about safety, the total O'Hare airspace is all area within a 25-mile radius of the center of the airport for a total of 1,962.5 square miles, which is approximately 8.5 percent of the total Potomac Tracon airspace.
It is interesting to make a comparison of the whole Potomac Tracon and just the small Class B Airspace of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Also located within the O'Hare Class B are Midway Airport and two of the most utilized general aviation airports in Illinois, Palwaukee and DuPage. Total annual operations for all four now approximate 1.5 million.
Operations at O'Hare are currently nine times more than that of all the Potomac Tracon!
Assuming O'Hare operations increase to Chicago's Mayor Daley's estimate of 1.6 million per year and Midway continues to increase operations, there would be minimum 2.2 million annual operations in the O'Hare Class B Airspace. With such an increase, there would be an average of 6,025 operations per day. That is 14 times more than the whole Potomac Tracon!
It is evident that the danger of mid-air collisions within the O'Hare Class B airspace is much greater than at Potomac Tracon. There is a better option to Midway and O'Hare expansion; it is building a new reliever airport south of Chicago (Peotone). Won't anyone speak out against this unsafe O'Hare expansion?
Jack Saporito, Executive Director
The Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare, Inc.
Aviation Watch Association, Inc.