- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport suffered a catastrophic power outage on Sunday.
- The outage is believed to have been caused by a fire at an underground Georgia Power facility.
- Power is expected to be restored by midnight local time.
- More than 700 flights have been canceled as a result of the outage.
Flight operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have grounded to a halt after a suffering a massive power outage around 1 pm local time on Sunday.
The bustling airport that handles an average of more than 280,000 travellers a day has been plunged into pitch black darkness.
Footage captured by WSB-TV in Atlanta show airport officials making their way through darkened terminal buildings with only flashlights to guide them.
Georgia Power, the airport’s utility provider, is on the scene and working to restore power by midnight tonight, the company said in a statement.
The company believes the outage was the result of a fire that caused extensive damage to one of its underground electrical facilities. No employees or passengers were in danger at any time, Georgia Power said.
Consequently, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a ground stop for all aircraft bound for Atlanta. This means that planes headed for the airport will be held at their point of origination. While the control tower in Atlanta is operational, departing flights are delayed due to the power outage in the terminal, the FAA said in a statement.
Flights already en route to Atlanta have been diverted to alternate airports.
Delta Air Lines has, thus far, canceled more than 900 flights on Sunday as a result of the outage and is working to deplane those stuck on board its aircraft at the airport. The airline expects to cancel another 300 flights on Monday. Atlanta is Delta’s home base from which it operates more than 1,000 departures a day to more than 200 destinations.
In a statement, the airline said:
“Delta customers scheduled to traverse Atlanta Monday are encouraged to check their flight status as approximately 300 flights will be canceled due to Sunday’s power outage at the Atlanta airport affecting all airlines there. Delta also canceled approximately 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday and diverted 48 flights to alternate airports due to the nationwide groundstop for Atlanta-bound flights. The airline is working to reaccommodate impacted customers on alternate flights. Cancellations are designed, in part, to allow the operation to best reset Monday.Delta leaders have been working to support customers by coordinating with Atlanta airport officials and leaders at the City of Atlanta and Georgia Power.Delta customers are encouraged to check the status of their flight via the Fly Delta mobile app or delta.com before heading to the airport. Customers flying to, from or through Atlanta can make a one-time change to their travel plans. Details are available at delta.com.Delta has temporarily embargoed unaccompanied minors from travelling Monday due to the power outage. Unaccompanied minors who already began their travel Sunday may continue. The Atlanta Airport, along with Atlanta Police Department, is restricting the vehicles allowed to the terminal drop-off and pick-up area due to congestion.The Atlanta Airport is providing updates at http://www.atl.com/media-center/”
Southwest, Atlanta’s second largest tenant, has canceled all of its remaining flights into and out of the airport on Sunday. American, United, and JetBlue have also canceled all inbound and outbound Atlanta flights, WSB-TV reported.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) December 17, 2017
Here’s what it looks like at the airport:
— Channel 1 Atlanta (@channel1atlanta) December 17, 2017
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 17, 2017
— AJC (@ajc) December 17, 2017
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.