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Fri, Aug 25, 2006

Temporary ORD Restrictions Made Permanent... Sort Of

Limits On Arrivals Planned Until New Runway Opens

Temporary restrictions put in place by the FAA in 2004 to calm the flood of traffic into Chicago's O'Hare International Airport were made permanent this week, with the agency imposing limits on the number of arrivals per hour at the busy airport.

Under the guidelines put forth by the FAA, carriers operating at O'Hare will be limited to a total of 88 arrival slots per hour from 7 in the morning up to 9 at night, Monday thru Friday... and from noon to 9 pm on Sundays. What's more, carriers are limited to a maximum of 50 landings within each 30-minute period within that time.

Airlines may also land an additional 10 aircraft between 8 and 9 at night, although the 50-per-half-hour limit still applies.

The FAA will also control the sale and leasing of slots -- a common practice between airlines -- and an airline must use at least 80 percent of their allocation, or risk losing those slots.

The measure goes into effect on October 29 of this year... and will last until Halloween of 2008, when a new runway is expected to go into operation at O'Hare, adding much-needed capacity to the airport.

Until then, the FAA says the rule will reduce delays by 32 percent -- and generate savings of nearly $476 million through 2008.

FMI: www.flychicago.com/ohare/home.asp

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