Power restored at Atlanta airport after outage snarled air traffic


Blackout grounds all flights from Atlanta airport

Eric Shawn has the story.

The power supply is completely restored, at the international airport Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after a complete power outage grounded flights Sunday afternoon, creating a holiday travel nightmare for the flyers in the whole country little more than a week before Christmas.

Kasim Reed, the mayor of the city, announced the power update on Twitter after the power outage forced the Federal Aviation Administration to suspend outgoing flights and to implement a “ground stop” for all incoming flights, which means that the flights towards Atlanta to be held on the ground at their departure airport.”

International flights were diverted to other airports, U. S. Customs and Border Protection tweeted.

The power on the Pier F is back! We are working with great urgency w/ @GeorgiaPower to restore power for the rest of the airport.

— Atlanta Airport (@ATLairport) On December 18, 2017

According to, 1,174 flights have been canceled at the Hartsfield-Jackson international airport from 9:30 am ET.

Latest update on power outage at @ATLAirport: all passengers were safely de-planed. #atlairport

— Kasim Reed (@KasimReed) On December 18, 2017

A spokesman told The Associated Press that there are no areas outside of the airport were affected by the fault. However, flights to the airports of Chicago O’hare International and Midway both have cancelled flights, but it is not yet clear whether they were cancelled as a result of Atlanta’s temporarily off the air.

A massive power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has grounded flights Sunday afternoon.


Delta Airlines, which has its headquarters at the airport, said more than 900 mainline and regional flights were cancelled, and 48 flights have been diverted to other airports. Delta tweeted that the airline issued a travel waiver for that “fly to, from or through Atlanta” and is “to give customers the ability to make one-time changes to their travel plans.”

Delta later, reported Sunday that “about 300 flights cancelled” on Monday because of the outage.

Southwest Airlines said they have cancelled “all remaining activities” for the day, while an American Airlines spokesman said that three of the carrier’s flights are being redirected and there are a few cancellations.”

Dealing with the power outage in the Atlanta airport was actually insane and I’ll post other scary videos later. But the staff had to slide down the escalators to help people and it was funny. Finally in the car on the way home. #atlantaairport #atl #atlanta

A post shared by sarahmanleyy (@sarahmanleyy) on december 17, 2017 at 2:54pm PST

United Airlines tweeted that the error “may affect the flights of tomorrow” and listed the airline is “the offer of additional flexibility that can allow you to plan your trip.”

Los Angeles International Airport tweeted after 7 pm ET, which is three flights from LAX to Atlanta were canceled, and that the two flights of tomorrow seem to have been cancelled, and advised passengers to “check with their airline for more info.”

Reed told the news outlets at a press conference Sunday night, airlines are working to rebook flights, and said that a fire the cause of the blackout and produced potentially toxic fumes, which lasted two hours for the fire brigade to extinguish the fire. Reed said it remains unclear how the fire started, but it will be investigated.

Delta Airlines announced Sunday evening that about 300 flights will also be cancelled on Monday due to Sunday’s power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

(Steve Schaefer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Georgia Power previously mentioned, the company is of the opinion that the outage “may have involved a fire caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power for underground electrical installation. The fire was safely extinguished by the fire department for Georgia power in the area to assess the damage and begin the repair.”

“Georgia Power has many redundant systems to ensure reliability for the Airport and the millions of travelers – a power outage affecting the Airport are very rare,” the statement read. Mayor Reed noted the redundant power system at the airport was also affected by the fire.

No problems or medical issues were reported during the interruption of the time of the press conference, Reed said. He said that the authorities “immediately began with the distribution of water” to the travelers when the stream is closed.

Reed noted that if the power outage would take place on a Monday or Tuesday, it would be a greater inconvenience as a result of the volume of people flying.

Latest information from @GeorgiaPower about power outage at @ATLairport.

— The city of Atlanta, GA (@Cityofatlanta) 17 December 2017

The mayor said that the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, what he says may keep between 8,000 and 10,000 people are open to stranded travelers and shuttles are provided. He added the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta will also be available for people to stay.

One person in the airport Concourse D told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they saw smoke in the area, which the airport employees apparently tried to move people the way, while another woman said she smelled electrical fire type of smoke.

“This is very bizarre,” Olivia Dorfman said, calling the situation “unbelievable,” before adding: “no one seems to know what they are doing.”

On asphalt 4 pm… still light out… #hartsfieldblackout we can the plane 67 of 94..?????????

A post shared by Spycee (@spyceechica) on december 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm PST

Dorfman noted that the shops have not be able to sell water or other items due to the power outage.

A woman tweeted that the “electric closing doors [are] not able to open,” and that “the passengers can’t be true!”

“Literal pandemonium on the @ATLairport … Baggage claim stuck, passengers can not be true! That means that the traffic can not. The GBI and other law enforcement on the site now. Talk about delays!” Ciara Leilani tweeted.

This must have happened at the airport today….there is no excuse for the absence of power for 5 hours and all these cancelled flights ??#nopower #blackout

A post shared by Ernest Seow (@ezveedub) on december 17, 2017 at 3:21pm PST

Almost 2,500 aircraft arrivals and departures to international airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International daily, and the airport averages 275,000 passengers per day, according to the website of the airport.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah cover breaking and trending news for Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

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