A power outage at a regional radar center halted almost all air traffic at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), at 5:38 p.m. Tuesday, July 18th, affecting thousands of passengers.
When the Palmdale radar center — about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles — lost power, it left the Los Angeles Enroute Air Route Traffic Control Center inoperable, airport officials said.
“We’re estimating it affected an estimated 25,000 passengers,” said LAX spokesman Harold Johnson.
At one point, up to 70 airplanes with passengers were awaiting takeoff at LAX, it was reported.
Other area airports were also affected by the power outage.
At LAX alone, 221 flights — 102 arrivals and 119 departures — were either canceled, delayed or diverted from LAX, Johnson said.
Not all flights were affected by the power outage, Johnson said. Any flights at an altitude under 18,000 feet could take off and land, Johnson said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded with four firefighter companies, two rescue ambulances, two EMS (Emergency Medical Service) battalion captains and one battalion chief officer command team.
No injuries were reported, according to fire department officials.
Power resumed — and so did flights — at approximately 7:55 p.m., said Johnson.
At about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, things started settling back to normal, Johnson said.
“Things are pretty much back to normal,” Johnson said at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).