Flights bound for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Monday, August 7th, were delayed by an average of more than an hour and a half until the evening, after a landing system for one of the airport’s runways failed, airport officials said.
The Instrument Landing System, which helps guide pilots to runways during inclement weather conditions by sending a radio signal through the clouds, failed at runway 25 R at about 9:15 a.m., said Bob Marks, National Air Traffic Controllers Association spokesman.
The equipment failure left the runway unable to handle arriving flights and forced all incoming planes to land on the remaining runway used for arrivals, airport spokesman Tom Winfrey said.
The incident cut the number of landings at the airport from an average of about 52 per hour to about 32, Winfrey said.
To compensate for the loss of the system, air traffic controllers switched the typical landing pattern of incoming planes from the east to the west shortly before 11 a.m., Marks said.
Equipment technicians fixed the landing system glitch within a few hours and the number of arrivals at the airport returned to almost normal by the afternoon, airport officials said.
But flights into LAX still experienced average delays of up to an hour and a half for most of the day, airport officials said.
The FAA instituted a “ground delay program” for all flights coming to LAX from airports across the country and Canada until evening.
The cause of the Instrument Landing System failure is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The incident occurred less than a month after a power outage at a regional radar center in Palmdale halted air traffic at LAX, resulting in more than 200 flights being delayed.