Passengers arrive Sept. 28 at Central Illinois Regional Airport for a flight to Atlanta, Ga.


BLOOMINGTON — Delta Airlines flights Central Illinois Regional Airport should be back to a normal schedule Monday afternoon, following disruptions after a power outage at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport caused massive travel delays across the country.

“It is sorting itself out,” said Fran Strebing, a spokeswoman for the Bloomington airport. “We think by Monday afternoon, though, everything will be back on schedule.”

Thousands of people were stranded Monday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where more than 1,000 flights were grounded just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush.

A sudden power outage that Georgia Power said was caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility brought the airport to a standstill Sunday about 1 p.m.

All outgoing flights were halted, and arriving planes were held on the ground at their point of departure. International flights were being diverted, officials said.

That caused a trickle-down effect to the Bloomington airport, Strebing said.

“Once the situation happened Sunday, you had crews that timed out because they can only work for so many hours straight, and you had planes out of place,” she said. “When it hits a busy airport like Atlanta, sometimes it can effect things for a couple of days.”

All flights later Monday remain scheduled, including arrivals at 4:40 and 10:20 p.m., and a departing flight at 5:16 p.m.

That follows cancellations of two arriving flights Sunday and one departure; a 6 a.m. Monday morning flight also was cancelled.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a nationwide ground stop for flights to Atlanta at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, meaning that planes were held at their departure airports, and eventually cancelled. Some inbound flights to Atlanta were diverted.

Atlanta is the largest hub for Delta Air Lines. The airline told passengers to check the status of their flights.

In a statement, officials with the FAA said it had put “a ground stop” for flights headed to the airport because of the failure, adding that the F.A.A. tower had electricity and was operating normally.

“However, departures are delayed because airport equipment in the terminals is not working,” the statement said. “A ground stop means that flights headed to Atlanta are held on the ground at their departure airport.”

Airport officials said the outage began just before 1 p.m. Georgia Power said it became aware of the outage at that time.

Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow




Staff Writer for The Pantagraph.

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