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The Federal Aviation Administration of the Departmen 
Transportation is the arm of the United States Government re 
sible for the promotion, regulation and safety of civil aviation 
for the safe and efficient use of airspace which is shared by be 
civil and military aircraft. 

The FAA is the steward of this giant system which com 
a sophisticated network of airports, airways, air traffic contra 
facilities, aircraft and airmen. FAA personnel concern thems< 
primarily with the safe day-to-day operation of the National > 
space System. 

FAA's responsibilities begin at the drawing boards whei 
craft are conceived and at the factories where they take shape 
responsibilities continue with the men who dispatch the aircr 
from airports, the pilots who fly them, the aviation mechanic 
maintain them and the specialists who control them in flight, 
responsibilities include the use of airspace, the navigation aid; 
airway system, the airports, and finally the research that will 
American civil aviation out in front. 

Chicago O'Hare International Airport is an excellent e 
of the Federal Aviation Administration at work. Each day, 
of aircraft arrive at and depart from the world's busiest airp< 
cause of the efficiency and dedication of FAA personnel. A 
the FAA maintains a team of pilots, maintenance inspectors 
neers, electronic technicians, air traffic controllers and secur 
to ensure the safe and orderly operation of the airport. 





United States, Jfleiigpal Avia- 
tion AdiittjpiN=f»r)ration. 
Ctoarf^fj O'Hare International 

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Following World War II, the City of Chicago, realiz- 
ing that Midway Airport would eventually reach a satura- 
tion point, began searching for a second Chicago airport. 
This search led to Douglas-Orchard (ORD), an airport lo- 
cated approximately 15 miles northwest of downtown 
Chicago. The airport had been built during World War II 
by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the production of 
large military transport aircraft. 

From the standpoint of location, terrain and very 
basic airport facilities, Douglas-Orchard had the ingredients 
for further development as a major Chicago airport. When 
the installation was declared surplus by the War Assets 
Administration in 1946, the City purchased the airport 
and thus began the evolution of Chicago O'Hare Interna- 
tional Airport. 

Three years later, in January 1949, %2Vi million was 
authorized for construction work, which included new 
terminal buildings, foundations, land acquisition, parking 
aprons, ramps and drainage facilities. 

The airport was named in honor of Lt. Commander 
Edward H. (Butch) O'Hare, the United States' greatest 
naval aviation hero. A fighter pilot in World War II and 
holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor, O'Hare be- 
came an ace when he shot down six enemy aircraft on 
March 3, 1942. He was listed as missing in action in 
November 1943. 

O'Hare Field, Chicago International Airport, official- 
ly opened its operation to domestic commercial traffic in 
October 1955, although the airport already had handled 

some 900,000 operations and 2 million passengers by that 
time. Recognizing the important international as well as 
national role the airport would play, the name was changed 
to Chicago O'Hare International Airport on December 8, 

During that year, the City of Chicago negotiated and 
reached an agreement with the airlines for a $2 million ex- 
pansion program for additional runways and terminal 
facilities, all at no cost to the taxpayers. The first earth- 
moving machine roared to life on March 30, 1959. Three 
years later, the modern terminal complex was open for 
business. It was termed one of the most outstanding en- 
gineering and construction achievements of our times. 

Today, Chicago O'Hare International Airport stands 
as an "aviation wonder of the world." Each year, more 
than 40 million passengers pass through the airport, one 
of the most efficient airport complexes in the world. 
Aviation officials from around the world are continuously 
visiting O'Hare and observing the various procedures. 
Many have returned to their native countries and imple- 
mented O'Hare's procedures to increase the safety and 
efficiency of their own airports. 

O'Hare has become an economic giant in the Metro- 
politan Chicago Area, employing more than 35,000 persons 
and contributing billions of dollars each year to the econ- 
omy of the area. O'Hare is the second largest employer 
in the metropolitan complex. 



The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has one 
responsibility - safety in the skies. It achieves this goal by 
many means, including the regulation of pilots, the certi- 
fication of aircraft, airport construction, air traffic control, 
the installation and maintenance of navigational aids and 
the security against criminal interference with airport and 
aircraft operations. 

The Air Commerce Act of 1926 was the beginning of 
Federal regulatory control, with development of the na- 
tion's aviation potential falling within the jurisdiction of 
the Department of Commerce. Recognition of this new 
and vital industry, air transportation, came just 23 years 
after the Wright brothers' flight. Under the new agency, 
incipient systems for communications, radio aids and 
ground lights were improved and expanded, airport con- 
struction was encouraged, and the first Civil Air Regula- 
tions were written. 

By 1938, continued growth made reorganization 
necessary and the independent Civil Aeronautics Author- 
ity was established; but by 1940, it was returned to the 
jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce as the Civil 
Aeronautics Administration. The Federal Aviation Act of 
1958 brought aviation regulation under the independent 
Federal Aviation Agency, which gave way in 1967 to the 
Federal Aviation Administration of the Department of 

The various name changes, the different Congress- 
ional acts and the transfer from one cabinet level depart- 
ment to another, reflect the rapid growth and increasing 
importance of aviation in our daily lives. The later changes 
were the Government's response to an aeronautical revo- 
lution brought about, in part, by the military requirements 
of World War II. At war's end, larger and faster aircraft 

were ready for service and airlines were expanding in all 
directions, both in the U. S. and around the world. The 
nation's technological resources were diverted to civil uses, 
to refinement of radar, to safety devices such as direction 
finders, and the most spectacular development of all - 
commercial jet aircraft. 

Light plane production picked up, with annual pro- 
duction doubling from 1949 to 1958. The number of 
private pilots doubled in the decade following the war. 
But, while all this growth was taking place, ground assis- 
tance to aircraft in flight remained virtually static. When 
FAA came into existence in 1958, the airways were 
crowded, the air traffic control and communications 
systems obsolete and overworked, and the usable airspace, 
once considered limitless, had reached capacity. 

FAA's first task was to ensure maximum utilization 
of the airspace by civil and military users alike. Second, 
a lengthy and more difficult task, was to modernize the 
airways. Growing demands were met by accelerating pur- 
chase and installation of electronic equipment, by devel- 
opment of new traffic control systems, aeronautical 
weather systems and services. 

The present tremendous economic impact of avia- 
tion is evident in exports, manufacture of aircraft and 
components, employment, and transportation of people 
and cargo. To enhance and maintain a vital aviation in- 
dustry, FAA issues and enforces rules, regulations and 
minimum standards relating to aircraft, airmen and air- 
ports; establishes and preserves the efficiency of naviag- 
tional aids in the National Airspace System; operates an 
elaborate computerized air traffic control system; and 
carries on a continuing program of research and develop- 
ment for the future. 

FAA's system of air traffic control and the nation's 
air navigation aids are the model for world aviation. A 
network of advanced facilities involves exceptional team- 
work among FAA's 55,000 employees. Air traffic control 
is accomplished through some 400 airport traffic control 
towers at airports with a high level of activity, through 
two dozen air route traffic control centers spaced approx- 
imately 200 miles apart across the country and into Alaska 
and Hawaii, and through over 350 flight service stations 
located in strategic areas around the country. Navigation 
aids provide guidance throughout the National Airspace 
System and promote the efficient utilization of the nav- 
igable airspace. Both the air traffic control and the navi- 
gational aids networks are used by civil and military air- 
craft for a combined system designed to provide optimum 
safety in the skies. 

FAA's responsibility for promoting a national system 
of airports is accomplished through Congressional acts 
which provide funds for expansion, improvements and 
establishment of new, better and safer public airports. 
Those airports servicing certificated air carriers are in- 
spected regularly by FAA for compliance with safety and 
security regulations. 

While the more important goals of the National Air- 
space System are being met, there is a continuing mandate 
to keep abreast of, if not ahead of, the soaring demands of 

The FAA has played a key role in the development 
of Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Millions of 
dollars have been spent in a continuous effort to make 
O'Hare the most efficient airport in the world. The Fed- 
eral Government has been an equal partner with the City 
of Chicago and the airline companies in developing O'Hare. 

Funds provided by the Congress have been used for air- 
port expansion and improvement in order to keep pace 
with the continuous demand for aviation services in the 
Chicago area. 


FAA specialists in the airport traffic control tower 
at Chicago O'Hare International Airport direct the safe 
and efficient flow of aircraft into and out of the Chicago 
Metropolitan Area. The tower rises nearly 200 feet above 
the ground and features the latest, most modern systems 
available for use by the controllers. The present tower, 
placed in operation in May 1971, is owned and operated 
by the Federal Aviation Administration. There are 125 
air traffic controllers authorized at the tower. Seventy 
electronic technicians are assigned to the facility. 

The heart of the airport traffic control tower cannot 
be seen by the millions of passengers utilizing the airport 
as the IFR (radar) facilities are below ground. This under- 
ground structure, in addition to housing the radar room, 
also provides space for a computer complex, electronic 
equipment, stand-by power facilities and administrative 
offices. The cost of the tower and equipment totals more 
than $6 million. 

Air traffic controllers at the airport handle nearly 
700,000 aircraft operations each year. They are respon- 
sible for directing not only the movement of all aircraft 
operations at O'Hare, but also all instrument operations 
within the Chicago Metropolitan Area. This includes 
radar services for flights at Midway, Meigs, Pal-Waukee, 
Glenview Naval Air Station and several other airports in 
the local area. 

The tower provides 27 operating positions, 8 in the 
tower cab and 19 in the radar room. The panoramic view 
from the tower cab enables controllers to monitor virtual- 
ly the entire airport, including all of the runways and taxi- 
ways, thus permitting the safe and expedient movement 
of air traffic. 


Controllers in the tower cab, located atop the pent- 
agonal concrete shaft in the center of the terminal com- 
plex, separate aircraft as they land at or depart the airport, 
as well as direct the safe and orderly flow of aircraft and 
vehicles on the airport surface itself. A number of radar 
facilities have been installed in the tower cab to permit 
the controllers to carry out their responsibilities under 
adverse weather conditions. Some of the runways are 
actually located two miles from the tower cab so that, 
in minimum weather conditions, the radar facilities are 
utilized by the controllers. 


Because there is very little change in the daily sched- 
ule used by the airlines, all important information pertain- 
ing to specific flights is stored in a computer. Approxi- 
mately one hour before a flight is to depart O'Hare, the 
computer will print a "flight strip" and feed it to a con- 
troller operating position known as "flight data specialist." 
It is his responsibility to coordinate and post this flight 
data information so, when the flight is ready to depart 
the airport, all the data is readily available. After assur- 
ing the information is correct, the flight data specialist 
will then pass the "strip" to the clearance delivery con- 


Before taxiing, the crew of an outbound aircraft 
contacts, by radio, the clearance delivery controller in the 
tower. The controller then issues to the departing aircraft 
its route of flight, its altitude and other information per- 

taining to the flight as it is printed on the flight strip. To 
ensure accuracy, the crew is required to repeat the trans- 
mission to the controller. Once this procedure is com- 
pleted, the control of the aircraft passes to the outbound 
ground controller. 


The outbound ground controller is responsible for 
the smooth flow of traffic from the terminal gates to the 
active runway. O'Hare has a number of taxiways which 
provide the outbound controller with various routes from 
the terminal area to the runways free of inbound traffic. 
After the aircraft reaches the active runway and is ready 
for takeoff, control of the aircraft is then assumed by a 
"local controller." 


Local controllers have the responsibility for separat- 
ing both arriving and departing air traffic. Normally, 
there are two local controllers working in the tower cab, 
and each handles aircraft arriving and departing on two 
runways. Under ideal conditions, O'Hare operates on a 
minimum of four runways. Once traffic permits, the local 
controller clears the departing aircraft for takeoff. Then 
the responsibility of control is transferred to the radar 

The procedures for arriving aircraft are basically the 
same, with a local controller clearing the aircraft to land 
and the ground controller assuming the responsibility of 
separation once the aircraft is clear of the runway. 


The West arrival controllers have the same responsibil- 
ity as the East arrival controllers. The only difference is 
that the traffic they handle arrives in Chicago from the 


When weather conditions require, a parallel approach 
monitor ensures that aircraft making simultaneous 
approaches to parallel runways do not exceed minimum 
parallel separation. He normally monitors parallel 
approaches from about 1 6 miles out until landing is 
achieved. He has an "override" factor on his radio which 
permits him to intervene on any radio frequency in the 
event of aircraft getting too close. 

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All of the electronic navigational aids at the nation's 
airports, such as Chicago O'Hare, and the en route naviga- 
tional aids which assist pilots throughout their flights, are 
under constant evaluation and monitor checks by airborne 
FAA flight inspection teams. At Chicago O'Hare, FAA 
aircraft, carrying sophisticated electronic monitoring 
equipment, are continuously checking and double check- 
ing all of the electronic systems used. These "flying lab- 
oratories" are based at Battle Creek, Michigan, but spend 
much of the time over the skies of Chicago assuring total 
accuracy of the navigational systems. 

There are 1 2 electronic landing systems at Chicago 
O'Hare which permit aircraft to land safely under minimum 
weather conditions. Although these systems have their 
own monitors which alert electronic technicians if there 
is a malfunction, they are still checked continuously by 
FAA aircraft in the air. 

Because of the tremendous amount of traffic at 
O'Hare, much of FAA flight inspection is done at night 
so as not to interfere with the movement of commercial 
traffic. If, for some reason, one of the electronic naviga- 
tional aids does develop a problem, a flight crew is dis- 
patched immediately from Battle Creek to check the 
system. This is done on a 24-hour basis. 

In addition to checking the navigational aids in and 
around airports, FAA flight inspection teams fly various 
aircraft across the country, ensuring the accuracy of all 
navigational aids used in the movement of air traffic. Be- 
cause of the efficiency of FAA flight inspection crews, 
many foreign countries pay the United States' Federal 
Aviation Administration to perform similar functions in 
their airspace. 


FAA's security program at O'Hare is of prime impor- 
tance because of the large volume of aircraft, air travelers 
and airport visitors, the great number of aircraft loading 
gates, the many runways and other facilities - more than 
anywhere else in the world. 

methods to be used, so that each of the airlines' activities 
can be slightly different. All, however, involve personal 
observation by an airline security officer of each passen- 
ger and visitor to departure areas, as well as a mechanical 

There have been no successful hijackings of scheduled 
aircraft at O'Hare or in the United States since passage of 
the Federal Aviation Regulation establishing the security 
program in mid- 1972. Continued hijackings and criminal 
acts against aircraft and airports abroad made it necessary 
to add international carriers to the program in 1975. 

Aviation security specialists in O'Hare's Air Transport- 
ation Security Field Office administer FAA's anti-hijacking 
program. The specialists themselves do not screen passen- 
gers and visitors, but rather monitor and inspect predepart- 
ure screening programs for the 13 scheduled domestic pas- 
senger and 12 foreign airlines regularly using O'Hare. They 
give advice, counsel and guidance to airlines' personnel 
performing the screening, provide orientation for new 
employees in the airlines' security programs and retest 
older employees. 

In addition, security specialists act as coordinators 
and a liaison point between the airlines, the airport man- 
agement, law enforcement and investigative units and 
other Governmental agencies on security matters. Mon- 
itoring and inspection includes facility protection, peri- 
meter control of access, policing and guard service. Secur- 
ity specialists work directly with the FBI on all matters of 
criminal activity committed against the airlines or the air- 

Federal Aviation Regulations prescribe the results to 
be achieved under the security program, rather than the 

Airlines depart from O'Hare on frequent schedules, 
not only to major points within the U. S. but also to 
Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe and the Orient. 


All airline aircraft maintenance methods and proce- 
dures at O'Hare are monitored under a continuing surveil- 
lance program by FAA specialists from the Air Carrier 
District Office to assure the continued safety of aircraft 
in flight. In addition, each airline flight crewmember 
based at O'Hare is evaluated to determine continued pro- 
ficiency as pilots and flight engineers. There are some 
5,000 flight crewmembers and nearly 1,500 certificated 
mechanics based at O'Hare. 

Air carrier flights account for well over half a million 
arrivals and departures at O'Hare annually. These are con- 
ducted by 23 U. S. and 12 foreign airlines whose activities 
pertaining to operations and aircraft maintenance are mon- 
itored constantly. Cargo and charter airlines are included 
in the program. 

Pilot inspectors from the operations unit, each certif- 
icated in specific types of aircraft, fly in the cockpit of 
airline aircraft in order to make their evaluations of crew- 
member proficiency. Certificated maintenance inspectors 
monitor repairs and alterations performed at O'Hare on 
aircraft and engines. The specialists also regularly inspect 
the carriers' maintenance bases at O'Hare to insure adequacy 
of facilities and procedures. Avionics unit specialists per- 
form similar tasks at avionics facilities, where aircraft in- 
struments such as airborne radar and radios are maintained 
and installed. 

In addition to these specialized functions, the air 
carrier personnel conduct surveillance of airline facilities 
and procedures for transportation of hazardous materials 
at O'Hare. 

The Air Carrier District Office maintains a liaison 
with the City of Chicago's Department of Aviation, oper- 

ator of the airport, during periods of repair or construction 
on the airport or its facilities to assure the safety of air- 
craft operations. The specialists also are responsible for 
investigating and reporting violations of Federal Aviation 


The Federal Aviation Administration has played a 
major role, from the beginning, in the development of 
Chicago O'Hare International Airport. In participation 
with the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois, the Fed- 
eral Government has shared in the cost of land acquisition 
necessary for airport growth and development and con- 
struction of improvements other than the terminal com- 
plex itself. Airport development programs include con- 
struction of runways, taxiways and aircraft parking ramps 
and the installation of navigation aids. 

The continuing development has been accomplished 
under the Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970 
through the Federal Aid to Airports Program and the Air- 
port Development Aid Program administered by the Fed- 
eral Aviation Administration of the Department of Trans- 

By 1975, there were 26 Federal-aid projects for de- 
velopment at O'Hare, of which the Federal share of the 
project costs exceeded $45 million. Of this amount, some 
$8 million has been used to acquire land for airport expan- 
sion and approximately $1.5 million for building construc- 
tion. The remainder has been used for runway and taxi- 
way construction, lighting, apron expansion and other 
development on the airports' 10,000 acres. 

In compliance with the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, 
amended by the Airport and Airway Development Act of 
1970, the FAA is authorized to issue airport operating 
certificates to airports serving air carriers approved by the 
Civil Aeronautics Board and to establish optimum safety 
standards for the operation of these airports. Chicago 
O'Hare was one of the first airports in the nation to meet 
the requirements. 

Equipment and training standards for fire and rescue 
programs are a major part of the certification program. 
Around-the-clock teams of specially trained Chicago Fire 
Department personnel man the main fire station, located 
in the center of the O'Hare complex, and two strategically 
located satellite stations. The City of Chicago maintains 
the 1 6 crash-fire-rescue vehicles used for emergency services 
at O'Hare. The annual $3 million cost is shared by airline 
companies serving O'Hare. FAA has funded the satellite 
stations and some of the specially designed fire equipment. 

To keep pace with the continuing growth of aviation 
and the increasing domestic and international activities at 
O'Hare, the City of Chicago, together with the FAA and 
the Illinois Division of Aeronautics, has entered into a 
three-year Master Planning Program, which represents the 
City of Chicago's concept of the tremendous needs, up to 
the 21st century, of the world's busiest airport. 


The importance of O'Hare as the hub of the National 
Airspace System requires installation and maintenance of 
a vast network of sophisticated electronic and visual navi- 
gational aids, radio communications equipment, radar and 
computers to assure the safety and efficiency of the airport 
and air traffic. 

At O'Hare, 65 men and women of FAA's airway 
facilities sector work shifts around the clock to maintain 
this vast array of diverse equipment at the top level of 
proficiency and accuracy. Their ability to perform 
efficiently at any hour and during the most adverse wea- 
ther conditions is evident in the dependability and relia- 
bility of navigation and communications aids. 

Most of the 125 facilities monitored and maintained 
by sector technicians are in FAA's airport traffic control 
tower at O'Hare or on the airport itself, but some are as 
far away as Waukegan's Memorial Airport, where there is 
a remote transmitter for improved radio communications 
with aircraft. Sector technicians also monitor and main- 
tain tower communication equipment, a remote transmitter 
and an instrument landing system at Pal-Waukee Airport in 
Wheeling and an electronic guidance system in nearby 

Chief among the separate facilities at O'Hare is the 
ARTS III - automated radar terminal system - with its in- 
tricate computer complex and digitized-display radarscopes. 

There are 1 1 ARTS III radarscopes to maintain in the dark- 
ened TRACON - terminal radar control room - where air 
traffic controllers check on aircraft operating within a 35- 
mile radius of O'Hare. In the neighboring computer room 
there are two additional radarscopes which can be used as 
monitors or as replacement equipment. In the tower cab 
are four radarscopes with dual capability: as remote ARTS 
III displays or as ASDE - airport surface detection equip- 
ment - displays for depicting the ground area. O'Hare was 
the first airport to have operating ARTS III equipment. 

The many different types of navigation and commun- 
ications aids demand exacting standards and highly skilled 
technicians, particularly as O'Hare's priority in the Nation- 
al Airspace System results in installation of the latest, most 
modern equipment, before it is available elsewhere. The 
sector operates an ambitious training program in order to 
preserve its high level of proficiency and to keep abreast 
of the newest equipment trends. 

An important aspect of airway facilities work at 
O.Hare is in environmental support. The sophisticated solid- 
state electronic equipment, delicate instruments, printed 
circuit boards and hundreds of miles of wiring demand a 
stable environment with controlled temperature and humid- 
ity and filtered air to keep them at the highest level of op- 
erating proficiency. 

Airway facilities technicians are attracted to O'Hare 
because of the variety and diversity of equipment necessary 
to keep the airport at the focal point of national aviation 

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This publication was prepared by the Public Affairs Office, Great 
Lakes Region Federal Aviation Administration. 

Northwestern Univ. Libr 


TRRN HE 9797 7C4 C532u