Meigs' Loss Boosts Midway Numbers

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The GA traffic diverted from Meigs helped push the comings and goings at Midway to record heights, even though there is supposed to be an airline slump going on. Almost 31,000 flights were recorded at Midway in October, the most in 13 years and up more than 10 percent from last year. According to controllers at the suddenly busier airport in Chicago, Midway has picked up part of the traffic that used Meigs before it was turned aircraft exclusive by the city last March. The loss of Meigs isn't the whole story, however, and is not even the biggest cause of the increase, according to the FAA. Agency officials say the increase has more to do with commercial jet traffic (ATA and Southwest have expanded in recent months) than the Meigs shuffle. Either way, controllers say it's time to redesign the airspace around Midway to give controllers more jurisdiction. "The thing is, right now there are airplanes that don't have to talk to controllers as they are flying by, " National Air Traffic Controllers Association spokesman Kevin Rojek told the Sun-Times. "They could be at 1,900 feet right under the approach to the runway." GA groups oppose airspace changes because of the additional procedures and regulations they'd bring, according to the Sun-Times.