March 20, 2018

Water main break delays flights at New York's beleaguered JFK airport

12 January 2018, 07:27 | Cesar Cruz

The passengers on the Kuwait-bound flight were booked into hotels and will be rescheduled on different flights

The passengers on the Kuwait-bound flight were booked into hotels and will be rescheduled on different flights

Flooding due to a water main break forced the suspension of worldwide flight arrivals at New York's John F. Kennedy global Airport on Sunday, adding to the misery of travelers after a winter storm canceled or delayed hundreds of flights in recent days.

That sent approximately three inches of water into the terminal's west end.

PANYNJ said power to the affected areas of the terminal was shut off for safety reasons.

Full flight activity has resumed at JFK Airport's Terminal 4 after a water main break caused chaos and suspended global arrivals.

On Saturday, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said on its official Twitter account that it was limiting the arrival of flights into JFK Airport "until there are adequate gates available to handle the backlog of flights due to recovery of flight schedules after Thursday's storm". Global arrivals to Terminals 1 and 4 were particularly hard-hit, stranding many passengers in their planes; buses eventually had to be used to get people off of 25 planes. The Port Authority has launched a full investigation to find out what happened, saying it will "hold all responsible parties accountable".

As of Sunday night, more than 500 flights had been cancelled or delayed, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

"They should've been better prepared", New York Sen. Brigida Downing, whose son was scheduled to fly from JFK on 4 January, told The Independent: "My son was meant to fly home from JFK airport NY with Norwegian airlines". Footage posted online showed water flowing into the arrival terminal, flooding the area.

Yesterday, two airplanes - a China Southern and a Kuwait Airways - collided at JFK International Airport amid delays caused by a winter storm.

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The sudden, unplanned detouring of all of those planes set off a chain reaction that stretched to various continents and left Kennedy tied in knots for the next few days, with passengers stranded in overcrowded terminals and on planes.

Officials shut down arriving worldwide flights.

Shawn Makinen, vice president of facilities for JFKIAT, the company which operates Terminal 4, said in a statement: "We are working closely with local agencies and authorities, as well as on-site emergency maintenance personnel, to resume normal operations as quickly as possible".

The Port Authority said there were 1008 arrivals and departures Saturday - and 94 cancelled flights.

"These included frozen equipment breakdowns, difficulties in baggage handling, staff shortages and heavier than typical passenger loads", the statement said.

"People see children crying; let us go", the driver said. "The delays were so bad, they weren't going to be able to leave until Sunday, Jan. 7", Stephenson said, so the clients eventually canceled. "She just refused to help us and put up a sign that said she would open up 10 a.m. tomorrow", Harrison claimed. "They weren't using any of the screens to indicate what carousel was being used for what flight", she says.

Global airlines have committed to have baggage reunited by passengers in New York City by Tuesday morning, said Cotton.

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