Airports delaying flights for bad weather.


I notice Chicago O’Hare is delaying flights this Wednesday morning, 6/12, yet the Minneapolis airport is fully operational for thunderstorms. Even in the winter, having lived in Minneapolis, that airport could keep the runways clean of snow for most of the time. Downtime was really short, But in Chicago there are hours of delays.
Any discussion of this matter with the weather delays at airports.


ORD is a tad bit busier than MSP… for the time period 1/1/2013 to 6/1/2013, O’Hare did 273,000 operations and MSP did 136,000. That tends to start the the slowdown there first. As to upkeep with snow, that’s almost as subjective as original question you posed…


Spot on. MSP has enough capacity to make it through most weather events with minimal delays and cancellations. One thunderstorm a few miles from ORD will back up traffic for the rest of the day. Same is true for most of the big “super hubs”, such as JFK or ATL.


The airspace around MSP is also much more uncongested. ORD and MDW airspace conflicts with one another, especially when winds are from the south. MSP has no airports of any traffic significance for hundreds of miles around.

In addition, ORD is under construction and not able to operate at full planned capacity, especially with a strong north or south wind.

ORD also sees more heavy traffic. When a non-heavy is following a heavy, they require more spacing due to wake turbulence. MSP only sees a handful of heavy aircraft a day while ORD sees dozens.