Feb. 25, 2016

A construction project at Chicago’s Midway International Airport (MDW) airport begins March 2 and is slated to last approximately six weeks. The project will have varying levels of impact on the airport’s operations, as portions of the ILS for runway 13C/31C will be shut down.

The initial phase of the project is expected to last two weeks, and will only impact the glide slope portion of the runway 13C ILS system. Runway 13C will only have localizer and RNP/RNAV approaches available until approximately March 11. No operational impacts expected for runway 31C during this time.

Runway 13C/31C will be open at all times, except for one 56-hour closure (10 p.m. (CST) March 11 to 6 a.m. March 14), and occasional night closures on selected nights as needs dictate to facilitate replacement of MDW ILS localizers and related equipment for runway ends 13C and 31C.

The second phase of the project, beginning around March 11, will shutdown the entire ILS system for both runway 13C and 31C.

The following is expected:

  • When weather dictates, RNP/RNAV Y approaches to Runway 13C will be utilized. Aircraft not capable of conducting the RNP approach will either be issued the ILS-4R straight-in or circle to land Runway 13C approach. All other non-capable aircraft could possibly be ground stopped due to lengthy airborne holding.
  • Runway 13C RNAV Z approaches would be available for emergency use only. This approach has significant system impacts, and would require the suspension of operations at O’Hare International Airport (ORD) for the portion of time required to execute the approach.
  • When weather dictates, RNP/RNAV approaches will be utilized for Runway 31C.
  • No significant impacts are expected for Runway 31C.

As noted, the MDW Runway 13C RNAV Z approach would be a last resort, because it could cause significant system delays to both MDW and ORD due to the proximity of the final approach courses at MDW/ORD and the departure area for ORD RY22L.

Also, MDW Non-RNAV Y capable aircraft could expect maximum delays of 60 to 90 minutes, either through ground stops or extended airborne holding. ORD arrivals could expect maximum delays of 30 to 45 minutes due to extended airborne holding. ORD Runway 22L departures could expect 30 to 45 minutes due to protected airspace issues.

This project is expected to end on April 22, but operators should check NOTAMs throughout the project in order to make sure they have the most up to date information regarding closures and ILS outages.