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Travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta faced extended delays during the blackout.

Travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta faced extended delays during the blackout.

Branden Camp

Branden Camp

Travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta faced extended delays during the blackout.

Paige Weingarten, Editor-in-Chief

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It’s every traveler’s worst nightmare and a crisis with repercussions that will last for weeks. On early Sunday afternoon, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the busiest airport in the world, lost power until late Sunday night which forced over 1200 flights to be cancelled and stranded many passengers on the tarmac for hours on end.

The airport’s shutdown is reported to have been caused by a fire which broke out at approximately 12:38 PM in the underground tunnels that are home to the maze of the airport’s electrical system. While the cause of the fire is still unknown, the effects were far more obvious and widespread over the weekend. Travelers struggled to make their way to their gates in the pitch black that forced many to use the flashlight on their phones just to see in front of them. The blackout forced the Federal Aviation Commission to declare an official ground stop, which cancelled any Atlanta-bound flights from other airports and diverted flights heading towards the airport to other locations. Airports generally have backup  power generators to prevent such a chaotic disaster from happening, but the fire disabled the “redundant system” which is used for emergency power at Hartsfield-Jackson (CNN).

Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest airport generating $34.8 million for the greater Atlanta area and it is the state’s largest employer. It offers non-stop service to over 150 domestic locations and almost 70 international while serving over 100 million customers each year. The enormity of this airport in both number and volume only serves to emphasize the drastic effects that the power outage had (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport).

With the upcoming holiday, the world’s busiest airport was at its highest capacity when the blackout commenced, and this caused the airline Delta to face several issues. The major airline has its headquarters in Atlanta, and the cancellations and delays sourced from Hartsfield-Jackson sent ripples to airports all across the nation that caused travelers from California to New York to experience sluggish travel times and extra stress in this already hectic time of year.

The effects of the power outage are still being seen all across America, with many airports still experiencing delays and having to deal with cancelled flights, but the airport workers and TSA agents continue to work tirelessly to make the busy holiday season as safe and smooth as it can be for all passengers.

 

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