In the US, a major power outage plunged Reagan National Airport into darkness and affected critical air traffic control operations. Officials are investigating the cause of the power outage, which occurred Wednesday evening. A generator is said to have been ‘smoking’, according to local news reports.
The incident is a stark reminder of the importance of ensuring resilient backup power. Recent outages at other major US and European airports suggest that this is not an isolated occurrence. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport — Europe’s third busiest — was temporarily closed in April 2018 when a large power outage hit all operations.McCarran International Airport in the US was also left in the dark when the Las Vegas airport experienced a power outage in June 2018. In December 2017, thousands were left stranded in dark terminals and on planes sitting on the tarmac, when a power outage paralysed one of the world’s busiest airports – Hartsfield-Jackson International, in Atlanta. The 11-hour outage was reported to have cost Delta Air Lines up to $50 million.