Three employees at Chicago Midway Airport test positive for coronavirus, temporarily shutting down the air traffic control tower and forcing Southwest Airlines to cancel more than 50 flights
- Chicago Midway Airport closed its air traffic control tower Tuesday after three employees tested positive for coronavirus
- The positive tests also forced Southwest Airlines to ground more than 50 flights
- National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) called on the roughly 20,000 aviation safety workers to get tested for coronavirus
- The NATCA said it ‘is adamant that the testing must occur immediately and is hopeful there will be no additional COVID-19 infections’
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The air traffic control tower at Chicago Midway Airport was temporarily shut down on Tuesday and Southwest Airlines canceled more than 50 flights after three technicians at the facility tested positive for coronavirus.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported that Midway is back open but operating at reduced capacity after the closure.
Backup facilities at the airport allowed it to reopen.
The air traffic control tower at Chicago Midway airport closed down Tuesday after three technicians at the airport tested positive for coronavirus
Now, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents roughly 20,000 aviation safety workers, has called on all of its workers to get tested immediately for coronavirus.
The group said in a statement it ‘is adamant that the testing must occur immediately and is hopeful there will be no additional COVID-19 infections.’
It continued, ‘We are encouraged that the FAA is pursuing the rapid testing of all personnel at MDW Tower.’
Wait lines at some airports around the United States have reached seven hours as personnel test passengers for coronavirus
Other airports have felt the sting of long wait times due to coronavirus testing, as many airports have wait times as long as seven hours, according to the New York Times.
Overall, demand for flights has fallen drastically, as airports have been the main stage for coronavirus panic.
Delta has plans to keep at least 600 planes of its planes from flying, representing half of its fleet, according to USA Today. The company also says it will reduce its overall flights by 70 percent.
So far, 7898 people have been infected with coronavirus, including 121 deaths
United also announced Tuesday it would cut flights by 60 percent, including only 45 long-haul international flights this April.
Guidelines from President Trump have called for people to avoid discretionary trips.
‘The FAA continues to maintain close contact with airports, airlines and other stakeholders during this situation,’ the agency said.