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Feds: Midway Near Capacity

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Air traffic at Chicago’s Midway airport could hit capacity within the next decade. That’s according to a new Federal Aviation Administration report. Chicago Public Radio’s Gabriel Spitzer has details.

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The FAA says Midway faces growing delays and congestion. Some time between 2015 and 2025, the airport won’t be able to add flights without major improvements.

Charles Everett runs the FAA’s national planning division. He says the Chicago region must plan for the growth now - and that could include a third airport.

EVERETT: Even when you talk about building a runway, it takes a minimum of 10 years to build a runway. So it’s not unreasonable to think about, this kind of time frame, building a new airport now - just to make sure that it will be there to satisfy the demand.

He says the O’Hare expansion could help soak up some of the demand. So could smaller airports like Gary and Rockford.

But if O’Hare improvements aren’t finished on time, the report says the region’s airports could max out within 8 years.

I’m Gabriel Spitzer, Chicago Public Radio.

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