Friday, September 15, 2017

Main runway at the Burlington International Airport (KBTV) was shut down for several hours after a cut wire caused the runway lights to stop working

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. —  The main runway at the Burlington International Airport was closed for about four hours Thursday evening because the runway lights were not working properly, according to airport operations.

Director of Airport Aviation Gene Richards said a wire was cut during a construction project by the Vermont Air National Guard earlier in the day.

“Last night, we were notified that the lights didn’t come on,” Richards said.

Friday morning, travelers were still stuck waiting for hours for their plane to take off.

“We got here at about 4:50 a.m. for a flight that was going to leave at 6:30 a.m.,” said Brad Schwartz who was traveling with his wife to visit family in Oklahoma.

But when they arrived, they were told their flight had been delayed. They weren’t alone.

“The airport website said all the flights were delayed,” said Rosemary Rinder, who was waiting for her daughter’s flight to land. “I’m guessing it’s going to be more than a one hour delay.”

While the accident happened during the day, crews didn’t discover the issue until later in the evening when the lights were usually turned on for the night.

“We created a patch and patched the lights and came back in around 10:30 last night,” Richards said.

At least two flights scheduled to land at the airport late Thursday evening were diverted to other cities in the northeast.

They included Endeavor Air flight 3304 from Detroit, which was diverted to Syracuse, and Delta Airlines flight 1335 from Atlanta, which was diverted to Boston.

A Friday morning United flight from Chicago to Burlington was diverted to Manchester.

A United flight from Washington, D.C., to Burlington was also diverted to Syracuse.

Some flights scheduled to depart from Burlington were delayed as crews worked to fix the issue.

Richards told NBC5 News the current fix to repair the lights was temporary, so flights could quickly resume.

The outage caused other flights to be delayed.

A 9 p.m. flight from Philadelphia to Burlington was delayed until 6 a.m. Friday.

Flights to and from Burlington to Philadelphia, Newark, Washington, Chicago and Charlotte were all delayed.

Rinder said while the ordeal caused plans to change, they were trying to be patient.

“In my family, we always say as long as you arrive safe and sound, it was a good trip,” Rinder said.

Story and video ➤

South Burlington, Vt. - Lights went out for a period on Thursday night at Burlington International Airport. The culprit, a severed utilities line.

According to Gene Richards, the director of aviation at Burlington International Airport a utility line was severed by an excavator sometime earlier in the day.

Around 7:45pm, the FAA reported the runway lights were not illuminating and notified Richards. Crews did respond within twenty minutes of the call to attempt to fix the issue but were not successful.

At this point no commercial flights were allowed to depart or arrive from BTV. This impacted Air Shuttle flight 6013, and jetBlue flight 2533 from departing.

The problem was corrected by 10:51pm, allowing Air Shuttle flight 6013 to take off at 11:13pm.

"The excavator, I just met with them. They were not aware the lines were there. They were not in a logical place along the runway. Fortunately our electrician worked with our other electrician who was on vacation. They came up with a jumper, and they jumped the system and we were able to get the system back up an running," said Richards.

A number of flights were delayed Friday morning, including four American and three United flights. As of Friday afternoon Richards reports the airport is back to business as usual.

Original article  ➤

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