Power outage leads to ground stop for flights into Atlanta airport

Ann Santiago
December 19, 2017

A sudden power outage caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility brought the airport to a standstill Sunday about 1 p.m.

The Jacksonville International Airport is experiencing delays and cancelations of flights coming to and from Atlanta, according to the airport's website.

The ground stop means flights into Atlanta were held at their departure airports.

The first flight from Atlanta since Sunday is scheduled to land at RSW at 10:29 a.m.

The city ultimately opened its convention center for the stranded travelers, with Chick-fil-A continuing to donate meals to passengers.

According to NBC News affiliate WXIA, the outage reached the entire airport and affected the train connecting the terminals.

He blasted airport officials, saying the problem was "compounded by confusion and poor communication".


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported a pilot relayed a message to passengers saying a construction crew severed a power line that serves the airport. Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund to the original form of payment.

Some passengers were removed from planes on the tarmac via portable staircases. Electricity was restored late Sunday night.

Passengers stuck on the train that moves passengers between terminals were rescued by firefighters.

Officer Lisa Bender of the Atlanta Police Department said officers were at the airport to help with crowd control and managing traffic around the airport.

American Airlines reported only a handful of diversions and cancellations because the carrier does not use Atlanta as a hub, airline spokeswoman Alexis Aran Coello.

According to the airport, Hartsfield-Jackson serves approximately 275,000 passengers and averages 2,500 flight arrivals and departures every day. Almost 2,500 planes arrive and depart each day.

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