TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The power outage that led to delays at Tucson International Airport last week was caused by a construction crew's mistake, officials confirmed on Monday, Nov. 6.
The Tucson Airport Authority said TIA's primary runway, 11L/29R, was under construction so they were using runway 3-21 on Friday, Nov. 3.
According to the TAA, crews pouring asphalt on 11L/29R damaged the electrical circuits that supported the lights on 3-21.
The airport decided to reopen runway 11L/29R instead of trying to restore power to runway 3-21.
"The airport has generators as well as other infrastructure redundancies," the TAA said in a news release. "The best option was to reopen our primary runway, which required paving to be completed, construction materials and equipment to be removed, and a thorough safety inspection to be completed of the entire runway."
The delay lasted about two hours.
"The events that caused the outage were extraordinary and related to an ongoing construction project to repave the airport's main runway," said TAA President and CEO Bonnie Allin. "We appreciate the patience of our passengers, airline partners and the community while we work to complete this safety project."
The TAA said construction crews have adopted new procedures for paving and additional electrical backups are being included as part of a larger airfield safety enhancement project.