Well can we see this in the data? Not yet is the short answer. Though cancellation rates at ORD and MDW have returned to normal (yesterday, ORD had only 27 flight cancellations including for maintenance and crew-related issues and MDW had none), on-time performance still lags. The following charts are from masFlight, with whom we collaborated to see how much recovery has in fact occurred. There is no doubt that the system is much better now than it was. But it is not back to where it was yet. Tomorrow we will be able to see how today turns out.
First let’s look at departures. The FAA says flights departing within 15 minutes of schedule time are “on-time”. The dotted line shows when the fire event kicked in and its devastating impact on Chicago’s air traffic. ORD has recovered more slowly than MDW because it is a more complex airport with lots of airlines and traffic. Although the overall trend is clear recovery, ORD in particular is way off its normal activity.
Next looking at arrivals, we again see the devastating impact of the fire. MDW has recovered better than ORD, is looks like being almost back to normal. ORD is closer to half way back to normal – which is to say way behind given that it is once again the world’s busiest airport.