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Minor Water Leak Leads to Hundreds of Cancellations, Disruption at JFK on Busiest Travel Weekend

Minor Water Leak Leads to Hundreds of Cancellations, Disruption at JFK on Busiest Travel Weekend

A minor water leak at New York JFK International Airport led to hundreds of flights being cancelled or delayed on Saturday evening on what is primed to be the busiest travel weekend of the year so far. The leak prompted the evacuation of the air traffic control tower and controllers had to move to a secondary backup tower as technicians worked to plug the leak.

“JFK controllers are operating from a secondary control tower due to a minor water leak in the main facility. Operations at this facility, combined with area weather, require more spacing between aircraft,” the airport said in a tweet on Saturday evening.

“As such, the FAA is holding most flights destined for JFK from departing,” the tweet continued. By around 10:30 pm, hundreds of flights had been cancelled or delayed. The airport said it expected disruption to continue through Sunday.

Around an hour after tweeting to say the primary control tower had been evacuated, the airport said the tower was slowly getting back up and running. “The airport remains open, however as a result of this, coupled with regional weather conditions, customers may experience residual delays,” a spokesperson warned.

On Friday, the Transporation Security Administration (TSA) screened nearly 2.2 million people at airport checkpoints across the country in what was yet another record-breaking day for air passenger numbers in recent weeks.

The number of passengers who passed through TSA checkpoints on Friday was the highest since the start of the pandemic and even exceeded the numbers screened on the equivalent day in 2019.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske has told passengers to expect delays and has urged passengers traveling over the coming weeks to “pack their patience and remain calm”.

Along with the disruption caused by unexpected but minor water leaks, airlines have also been dealing with disruption caused by severe weather and staff shortages following an unexpectedly rapid recovery from the pandemic. Southwest and JetBlue even resorted to offering staff double-pay and other incentives to work overtime over the July 4 weekend.

View Comment (1)
  • Was there an actual leak or a fake leak like in Georgia at 1:00AM so ballot counting observers could be forced out and counting done in secret to steal the election?

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