Man charged with starting fire at FAA facility appears in court

CHICAGO (KGO) -- The man accused of starting a fire at an FAA facility and causing thousands of flight cancellations faced a federal judge Monday in Chicago.

Authorities say contracted technician Brian Howard started a fire, knocking out a key air traffic control center in Illinois.

And as we learn more about the 36-year-old, many are busy questioning security measures at other air traffic control facilities.

FAA chief orders review Chicago air traffic snarl

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration says he's ordered a review of the agency's security protocols and how it deals with unexpected incidents such as last week's fire at a Chicago-area air traffic facility that disrupted air travel.

The fire brought flights at the city's two busy airports to a halt and affected air service across the country. Authorities say it was set by a contract employee who also tried to commit suicide.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Monday that he has asked the team of FAA employees and labor union representatives conducting the 30-day review to "think as creatively as possible."

He said service at O'Hare airport is back to 60 percent of normal and Midway airport is operating at 75 percent of normal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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