Posts: 1084
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2001 10:09 am

MDW-ATA-SWA This Air Traffic Controller Has?

Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:35 am

Ok, Ive been thinking of doing this for some time now because I has so many questions about MDW, the community that surrounds it and the operation of it as an airport.

Im an air traffic controller in Waco Tx, grew up in Kansas City and have flown through MDW many times. I have always wanted to work a busy tower and have been thinking about putting in for a transfer to the tower at MDW.
I have been reading the ATA posts on other topics and it seems there are some very informed people out there, so here goes. Get ready, Ive got a lot of questions.

First off, tell me about the community that surrounds MDW? Would I want to live there? Im a 30yr old white guy, single and can probably afford to live in a decent area. But I am a tight wad at heart and hate to spend money on rent. Keeping the tight wad factor in mind  Smile I have been looking at Oak Park on the internet and it seems a little pricey. But I imagine a single guy, who wants a place that is close to work, between MDW and ORD or downtown could find something good and quiet for $750 a month?

---If you work at MDW let me know that part of town you live in, what the community is like, the cost of living and what the commute is like.---

I would imagine this is my biggest concern with coming to Chicago. KC is the biggest area I have lived in and am used to parking in my driveway or right in front of my house, cheap gas and quiet surroundings. I just don't know what I could find with in a short distance of MDW (mainly to the north of the airport).

ATA--It seems both ATA and its connection operate about 150 flights a day. Have they received all their aircraft that are, or were on order? How many gates will they have when the new terminal is finished? Any other news of expansion or change would be welcome, just let it all out Smile.

SWA--How many gates will they have when the new terminal is done?

Well guys I think I leave it at that now, I don't want to overload you.

Posts: 479
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 1999 10:20 am

RE: MDW-ATA-SWA This Air Traffic Controller Has?

Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:55 am

My advice is dont do it!

I've flown in and out of MDW a few times and the area around there isn't the greatest. Prices are quite high and their is a state income tax.. Gas isn't cheap and nor is rent.

Mechanics I work with who transfered down here from MDW had to live in Indiana to find afforable decent housing and nice lifestyle. The only ones who liked living there were locals.. Everyone else was just and doing their time and moving on.

Plus with the winters, man that could be harsh!

How long are you guys required to stay in one spot once you bid it?

If you can move back or somewhere else right away, I say give it a shot. Or better yet, go up and meet some of the local controllers and see what they say. No one will better know what you are in for and what kinda lifestyle you can lead but someone in your line of work.

If I had it to do over again, I would have loved being an ATC'er.. It beats a cold dark wet ramp when you have broke airplanes all around you. But I'm kinda stuck with it now.  Embarrassment)

Posts: 2822
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 1:51 am

RE: MDW-ATA-SWA This Air Traffic Controller Has?

Wed Jun 18, 2003 5:11 am

Hi ATCboy,

Where to begin....

I lived about 1 mile east of MDW and now live in Oak Park. OP is a bit pricey but you can find a good apartment for a decent price and it is a great community. The communities surrounding to the east (up to Pulaski Rd. )and west (up to Harlem Ave.) of MDW are quite decent and you can get a good deal on rent, for Chicago standards anyway. I was living in a spacious 2 bedroom apartment in a nice quiet neighborhood a stone's throw from MDW for $800 a month. However to get the best deals on housing around here, its best to search while in the city. The internet doesn't always do a good job of giving you the best living options, at least not around here. Areas north of the airport aren't all that great until you get to Oak Park. Stay out of Berwyn and Cicero! Cost of living in Chicago is considerably higher than in KC but I'm sure you'll probably get an increase in pay to cover it. Every company I've worked for including airlines has always done it that way.

As for ATA and SWA all I can say is that each of the two airlines is growing. ATA actually has close to 200 operations a day at MDW if you include Chicago Express. ATA and SWA should be getting something like 14 gates each at the new facility but my figures may be off a little.

If you have any more questions about living in the Chicago area, feel free to email me.

Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: MDW-ATA-SWA This Air Traffic Controller Has?

Wed Jun 18, 2003 8:35 am

try Oak Lawn, to the south, near Chicago Ridge Mall...

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