Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center

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Temporary flight restriction map showing boundaries of ARTCC regions, with FAA location identifiers
ZAU
ZAU
Temporary flight restriction map showing boundaries of ARTCC regions, with FAA location identifiers

Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZAU) (radio communications: "Chicago Center") is one of 22 Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) operated by the United States Federal Aviation Administration.[1] It is located at 619 W. New Indian Trail Rd., Aurora, Illinois.[2]

The primary responsibility of Chicago Center is sequencing and separation of over-flights, arrivals, and departures in order to provide safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of aircraft.

Chicago Center covers approximately 91,000 square miles (240,000 km2) of the Midwestern United States, including parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Chicago Center lies adjacent to Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center, Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, and Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center. ZAU overlies or abuts many approach control facilities (including Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, the Quad Cities, Peoria, Springfield, Indianapolis, and Grand Rapids approaches).

Chicago Center is the fifth-busiest ARTCC in the United States. Between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2012, Chicago Center handled 2,343,281 aircraft operations.[3]

2014 fire[edit]

On September 26, 2014, an arson at the Chicago Center (ZAU) facility caused operations across ZAU-controlled airspace to be suspended, including airport operations at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway International Airports, resulting in canceled flights.[4] One employee at the facility was treated for smoke inhalation, while remaining employees were evacuated.[5]

Brian Howard, who had been working for the FAA as a contract employee of Harris Corporation,[6][7] was charged with one count of "destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities" following the incident.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). (2010, April 28). Air route traffic control centers. Retrieved from http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ato/artcc/
  2. ^ StuckMic.com. (2012). Illinois Center/EnRoute Facility Locations - Contact Information. http://www.stuckmic.com/atc-facility-directory/illinois-centerenroute-facilities-90
  3. ^ Federal Aviation Administration. (2013). Air Traffic Activity System (ATADS). Retrieved from http://aspm.faa.gov/opsnet/sys/Center.asp
  4. ^ Nickeas, Peter; Hilkevitch, Jon; Briscoe, Tony. "FBI: Contract worker set fire at FAA center, tried to kill himself". Chicago Tribune Online. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Goldstein, Sasha (26 September 2014). "Illinois man charged in fire at Chicago air traffic control center". New York Daily News. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Fire at air-traffic center disrupts flights". Yahoo News. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Chicago-area air traffic center fire grounds 1,750 flights". Yahoo News. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Contract Employee Charged in Fire That Grounded Chicago Flights". ABC News. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Chicago air traffic halted over fire at FAA facility". 26 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°46′58″N 88°19′52″W / 41.7827778°N 88.3311111°W / 41.7827778; -88.3311111