It Took 11 Hours to Restore Power at World's Busiest Airport

Fire blamed for massive Atlanta outage
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2017 2:57 AM CST
Passengers sit around a generator taking turns charging their phones at Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Branden Camp)
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(Newser) – Power was finally restored to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport just after midnight Sunday—some 11 hours after the lights went out in the world's busiest airport. The massive power outage caused the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights, including 900 Delta flights, Business Insider reports. The airline says it expects to cancel another 300 flights at its hub Monday in the aftermath of the outage, which is believed to have been caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility. Travelers say there was chaos and confusion after the outage brought the airport to a sudden standstill, the AP reports. "This is the worst experience I've ever had at an airport," says passenger Jeff Smith, who was stuck on a plane for more than three hours after it landed.

Georgia Power says it believes the "very rare" outage was the result of a fire started by an equipment failure, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "This fire was located adjacent to redundant circuit cables and switching mechanisms serving the airport and those cables were damaged, resulting in the outage and loss of redundant service method," the utility said in a statement. WSB-TV reports that one of the thousands of passengers stranded Sunday was former Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who served from 2013 to 2017. "Total and abject failure here at ATL airport today," he tweeted. "There is no excuse for lack of workable redundant power source. NONE!" (It took five days for Delta flights to get back to normal last year after an Atlanta outage caused a global systems failure.)

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