Saturday, June 21, 2014

Runway lights at Tulsa International Airport (KTUL) fail to come on, monitoring system being removed

Tulsa International Airport electricians are removing a new monitoring system after malfunctions stopped runway lights from turning on twice this week.

Crews installed a new system to automatically monitor lights at Tulsa International Airport and R.L. Jones Riverside Airport and tested the system during daytime hours early this week.

But the lights failed to turn on at dusk at about 9 p.m. Tuesday night, causing a one-hour delay in which three planes were diverted. Some planes were able to circle on Tuesday until the lights were repaired.

After a fix, the monitoring system was turned on again Thursday, but the lights failed to come on again. Thursday night’s delay was only about 10 minutes because the airport had an electrician on hand to monitor the situation, said airport spokesman Daniel Meier.

“We’re taking the monitoring system out for now,” he said. “It’s easier not to have it than to deal with the problems.”

The problem did not affect the lights at R.L. Jones Riverside Airport. Because of Thursday night’s delay, one plane was diverted to Wichita.

Meier said the airport staff is trying to find out what caused the monitoring system to malfunction and discussing what they might do about it.

Crews completed work earlier this month on a $55 million repair to the main runway and some related work. The project took three years to complete.

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