CHICAGO, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is dead last in on-time performances among the 31 busiest U.S. airports, a federal survey shows.
The federal data says as many as seven out of every 10 planes are arriving late during peak hours at O'Hare, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday, The November figures were the worst at O'Hare during 2003, and experts predict the congestion problems will only grow in 2004.
With new runways years away, aviation authorities are urging airlines to spread out flights now concentrated in late afternoon and evening to avert the gridlock that was common before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that decimated the air travel industry.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., sent a letter Wednesday to the U.S. transportation secretary warning the over-scheduling problems at O'Hare could cause major disruptions to the entire commercial aviation system this year.
United and American airlines have refused to stop over-scheduling flights for fear of losing passengers to competitors and both have added flights since October.