11/29/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

O'Hare Delays Are New York's Fault: Transportation Secretary

Chicago can blame New York, at least in part.

Federal officials say many of the delays plaguing O'Hare International Airport are due to congestion at New York airports.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters told reporters at O'Hare on Wednesday that "Chicago shouldn't have to play second city to New York's aviation shortcomings."

Peters says new data shows fewer than half the flights between O'Hare and New York's three airports are on time. That compares to an almost 80 percent on-time performance for all other flights.

A $15 billion upgrade of O'Hare is supposed to reduce delays. But Peters says New York congestion undermines that. She says her department is trying to address the problem, including by redesigning airspace patterns around New York.

Meanwhile, constraints on flight capacity at O'Hare are due to expire on Friday. For the past four years, arrivals had been capped at 88 per hour. A new runway scheduled to open Nov. 20 will allow O'Hare to handle four to five additional arrivals per hour, FAA officials have said.