Ground Stop Lifted After Smoke Forces TRACON Controllers Out of Radar Building - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Ground Stop Lifted After Smoke Forces TRACON Controllers Out of Radar Building

TRACON controllers evacuated, return to post after smoke reported in radar building

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ATC Back in Position After Evacuations, Ground Stops Lifted

    Air traffic controllers have returned to a radar room at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after being forced to evacuate Wednesday after smoke was reported in the building. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019)

    What to Know

    • Smoke in a radar building forces TRACON controllers to evacuate at about 12:30 p.m.; ground stop at DFW, Love put in place.

    • TRACON controls the airspace over North Texas, and all flights entering or leaving the area.

    • TRACON controllers returned to posts after about 75 minutes; ground stop lifted.

    Air traffic controllers have returned to a radar room at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after being forced to evacuate Wednesday after smoke was reported in the building.

    Lynn Lunsford, with the Federal Aviation Administration, said just before 2 p.m. Wednesday all controllers have returned to their stations and that the airspace over North Texas is back to full capacity, though it may take some time to work through existing delays.

    Lunsford said the smoke was reported at about 12:30 p.m. at the DFW Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) building and all employees were evacuated.

    The FAA then put a ground stop in place to help manage the volume of air traffic over North Texas in the interim.  Both DFW and Love Field airports were affected by the ground stop because all flights entering or leaving North Texas are managed by TRACON controllers.

    The cause of the smoke has not yet been confirmed, but Lunsford said it may have been coming from ongoing construction work.

    The FAA said both control towers at DFW remained staffed and operational during the TRACON evacuation.

    Affected flights, meanwhile, may take a while to get back on schedule. As of 5:30 p.m., Flight Aware showed DFW had over 390 delayed flights and 17 cancellations, while Love Field had 92 delays and 72 cancellations.

    In a statement to NBC 5, American Airlines said it was working to re-book and re-accommodate passengers affected by the ground stop as quickly as they possible.

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