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Power outage delays flights in Houston
HOUSTON (AP) - A short power outage at air traffic control facilities and problems with switching to backup systems delayed flights at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Thursday, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.
Around 11:05 a.m., the main power supply at the airport's control tower and its radar rooms underneath went out, said FAA spokesman Roland Herwig.
"We switched to generator power but had trouble switching over," Herwig said.
A piece of equipment called a power conditioning system, made up of switches and software, failed to work properly and prevented the switch to backup generators. A faulty part in the system was later discovered and replaced.
Until power was restored 25 minutes later, planes could not land or take off at the airport. Incoming planes were not diverted but waited in holding patterns until power was restored, Herwig said. No accidents or emergencies were reported as a result of the problem.
It was not immediately known Thursday how many flights were affected by the outage.
FAA officials are still trying to determine what caused the initial power failure.
"In an environment where you got backup and backups, it's fairly rare that it happened," Herwig said about the problem with getting backup power.
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