Power outage socks Anchorage International airport

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


By Elizabeth Manning

(Published June 20, 2000) The power was down at Anchorage International Airport for several hours Monday morning, first as part of a planned outage and then because a Chugach Electric fuse blew, airport officials said.

The planned shutdown - part of a project to expand and renovate the airport's passenger terminal - started at 5 a.m. It was scheduled to last several hours in the ground transportation area and the garage parking lot. But then the main fuse servicing the airport blew around 10:15 a.m., knocking out power to the entire terminal, said Mark Butler, the airport's spokesman.

Emergency generators kicked on about 10 minutes later, Butler said. But for a short while, travelers and airport businesses coped without power throughout the airport.

At Dollar Rent A Car, the lights and computers were down all morning because of the planned outage. Ann Byker, a sales agent, said clerks used flashlights and wrote rental car contracts out by hand. Eventually, the company began shuttling customers to the rental car's facility away from the terminal, where the computer system was working and the lights were on.

"I think people were a little surprised," Byker said. Still, she said everyone seemed to cope OK.

Tammy Grimes, a senior ticket agent with Era Aviation, said the ticket counters lost power around 10:15 a.m. She said her company was not on a backup generator and so they had to hand write tickets. For Era, the blown fuse caused more disruption, delaying a planned move to a new ticket counter that was supposed to happen Monday evening.

Several more planned power outages are scheduled through the rest of this week in small sections of the airport while workers install a new medium-voltage electrical system, Butler said. The new system is a loop feed, meaning power will come from both ends, which makes it more reliable, he said.

Butler didn't think any flights were canceled before the power came back on about 1 p.m, he said.

Phil Steyer, a spokesman for Chugach Electric, said he doesn't know what caused the fuse to blow, but that it appeared to be a problem with the airport's system. Chugach plans to investigate the matter further today. No homes or businesses outside the airport were affected, he said.

"It was a problem unique to the airport system," he said.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), June 20, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ