- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport suffered a catastrophic power outage on Sunday.
- The outage is believed to have been caused by a fire at an underground Georgia Power facility.
- Power is expected to be restored by midnight local time.
- More than 700 flights have been canceled as a result of the outage.
Flight operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have grounded to a halt after a suffering a massive power outage around 1 pm local time on Sunday.
The bustling airport that handles an average of more than 280,000 travelers a day has been plunged into pitch black darkness.
Footage captured by WSB-TV in Atlanta show airport officials making their way through darkened terminal buildings with only flashlights to guide them.
Georgia Power, the airport’s utility provider, is on the scene and working to restore power by midnight tonight, the company said in a statement.
The company believes the outage was the result of a fire that caused extensive damage to one of its underground electrical facilities. No employees or passengers were in danger at any time, Georgia Power said.
Consequently, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a ground stop for all aircraft bound for Atlanta. This means that planes headed for the airport will be held at their point of origination. While the control tower in Atlanta is operational, departing flights are delayed due to the power outage in the terminal, the FAA said in a statement.
Flights already en route to Atlanta has been diverted to alternate airports.
Delta Air Lines has, thus far, canceled more than 450 flights as a result of the outage and is working to deplane those stuck on board its aircraft at the airport. Atlanta is Delta’s home base from which it operates more than 1,000 departures a day to more than 200 destinations.
In a statement, the airline said:
“A power outage at the Atlanta Airport affecting all concourses and terminal buildings started at approximately 1 p.m. ET Sunday and is ongoing. Due to the power outage, more than 450 Delta mainline and regional flights have been canceled today. A ground stop is in effect for all flights into the airport, resulting in flight diversions. Delta is working to deplane customers from aircraft that have not been able to park at a gate due to the outage.
Delta customers are encouraged to check the status of their flight via the Fly Delta mobile app or delta.com before heading to the airport. A travel waiver has been issued for Delta customers flying to, from or through Atlanta allowing customers to make one-time changes to their travel plans. Details are available at delta.com.”
Southwest, Atlanta’s second largest tenant, has canceled all of its remaining flights into and out of the airport on Sunday. American, United, and JetBlue have also canceled all inbound and outbound Atlanta flights, WSB-TV reported.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) December 17, 2017
According to Flightaware.com, a total of 776 flights to or from Atlanta have been canceled today with another 525 flights delayed more than 15 minutes.
Here’s what it looks like at the airport:
— 🔴Channel 1 Atlanta (@channel1atlanta) December 17, 2017
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 17, 2017
— AJC (@ajc) December 17, 2017
The busiest airport in the world has been shut down by a catastrophic power outage