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On-time departures from O’Hare rank last out of top 29 airports

Updated: September 15, 2013 6:33AM



Just two out of three flights departed Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on time so far this year, earning it the ranking of dead last in departure performance compared with 28 other airports nationwide, federal data indicated Tuesday.

O’Hare fared only slightly better in on-time arrivals over the first six months of the year, coming in 28 of 29, data released by the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics showed.

Only Newark, N.J., had a worse on-time arrival performance. “On time” is defined as an arrival or departure that occurs within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

Both O’Hare rankings marked a drop of four spots from the airport’s status for the same six-month period last year.

Midway saw a huge tumble in its year-to-date arrival performance. It fell from No. 6 last year to No. 16 for arrivals among the nation’s 29 major airports.

Midway’s year-to-date departure ranking dipped less but started out lower. For its on-time departures through June, Midway’s rank fell from No. 26 to No. 28.

Karen Pride, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation, blamed the Chicago ranking dips on poor weather that plagued February, April and June. Pride predicted that two new O’Hare runways — due to open this fall and in 2015 — should ultimately boost O’Hare’s on-time performance.

The No. 1 airport for on-time departures so far this year was Portland, where 87 percent of flights left on time. That compared to O’Hare’s 67 percent and Midway’s 69 percent.

Phoenix was tops in year-to-date arrivals with an on-time rate of 85.46 percent compared to O’Hare’s 70 percent and Midway’s 78.7 percent.

Email rrossi@suntimes.com

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