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Atlanta airport power outage impacting Savannah flights

19 December 2017

The world's busiest airport was literally left in the dark all day and night on Sunday.

According to the Associated Press, CEO Paul Bowers said in a phone interview Monday that a switch gear failed, causing a fire that then spread to cables coming in from two substations.

He said the fire happened in a service tunnel deep under the airport, so it never posed a danger to anyone. Williams took her blanket and looked for a place to rest. That was five and a half hours after firefighters had first arrived at the scene. "I wish there would have been better communication".

By the time Williams' plane could unload its passengers, there were 93 other planes waiting on the tarmac. They wondered how long the outage would last and whether they should leave.

Monday morning we found the power outage in Atlanta did impact passengers in the Tri-Cities region. The airport's backup generators can power only one elevator per concourse.

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"It takes an army to communicate", the deputy general manager said, "and not everyone receives communications". It's unclear how widespread the outage is or what caused it. Multiple airlines, including Southwest and Delta Airlines, told ABC News they were beginning to deplane passengers by sliding them down airstairs. It was after midnight before food and water were delivered to passengers.

But people still want information - any information.

"I didn't know what was happening", he said. When asked about the mood inside Hattsfield-Jackson International Airport, Fifer said this, "People who were there, who I heard talk about it, said it was nearly, like, apocalyptic".

Begley says airport staff regularly review the contingency plan that's required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

During the blackout, thousands of travelers waited on planes or in the terminals.

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The nation's air-travel system struggled to get back on schedule Monday after a weekend fire and blackout at the world's busiest airport forced the cancellation of over 1,500 flights just days before the start of the Christmas rush. Clerks, he said, were trying to pull down the gates to close the stores but were overpowered by people forcing them open.

A little after 1 p.m., senior airport management made a decision to mobilize its first response force and activate its emergency operations center. Some passengers told CBS North Carolina they waited in line for hours.

Airport management and other responders chose to keep morning shift workers on duty, as the evening shift came on, to beef up personnel.

And meanwhile, until the FAA called for a ground stop at 3:28 p.m., planes kept landing.

"We are all hungry, tired, frustrated", Mack said.

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Anthony Foxx, who was transportation secretary under President Barack Obama, was among many travelers stuck for hours in a plane on the tarmac. Williams would receive a text message from her brother, but she couldn't get something back to him.

Atlanta airport power outage impacting Savannah flights