The Federal Aviation Administration presented a detailed timetable Friday for acting on 100 measures to improve operations and reduce traffic-control errors at Chicago's busy O'Hare International Airport.
The lengthy document was submitted to Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., who had criticized the agency two days earlier for sending Congress a vague and inadequate report on plans for the nation's busiest airport.Simon met with FAA officials to discuss their latest report and then told reporters he was satisfied with the agency's efforts.
"This action plan we now have really means the beginning of the end of a significant threat to air safety at O'Hare," Simon said. "Concrete actions are going to be followed. We have dates. We have specifics."
The Senate passed a resolution earlier this month instructing the FAA to submit a detailed report on its immediate and long-range plans to end what Simon called an "air-traffic control crisis at O'Hare."
Its controllers have had 30 flight-handling errors so far this year, compared with 12 in all of 1987 and their previous record of 22 in 1986.
The FAA report listed 100 specific measures to improve safety and operations at O'Hare ranging from hiring additional journeyman, or full-performance-level controllers, to repainting the lines on runways to make them more visible.
It said a program approved Thursday by the Office of Personnel Management providing a 20 percent pay increase to employees at hard-to-staff facilities in three metropolitan areas - Chicago, New York and Los Angeles - should more than double the number of experienced controllers at O'Hare by May 1.