Palm Beach County, Florida – In a temporary setback at Palm Beach International Airport, the electrical power system experienced a brief outage on Saturday afternoon, resulting in service disruptions, including the suspension of all departures. The airport, however, managed to maintain operations by relying on generator power, as confirmed by Marketing Director Nicole Hughes in an interview with WPTV.
The power failure occurred at precisely 4:50 p.m., according to Hughes. To rectify the situation, crews from Florida Power & Light (FPL) swiftly mobilized to restore power, working diligently alongside airport personnel. Marshall Hastings, the spokesperson for FPL, issued a statement acknowledging the service interruption at one of the primary terminals. He assured the public that FPL teams had promptly and safely resolved the issue, managing to restore power shortly after 5 p.m. The exact cause of the outage remains under investigation.
Despite the power disruption, incoming flights were able to land safely, allowing passengers to disembark without incident. However, the baggage and ticket scanning systems were rendered inoperable due to the power outage. As a result, eight departing flights faced delays, while three arrivals experienced similar setbacks.
Cassandra Garcia, a reporter from WPTV, conveyed the atmosphere at the airport during the incident, noting the large number of individuals waiting in dimly lit areas. The inconvenience of the situation was exemplified by the words of Tom Spencer, who shared his experience of a delayed departure, stating, “We were supposed to leave at 6:15 and delayed to 7:30 so far.” Stephanie Fullington also expressed her frustration, revealing that her flight had been delayed by approximately two hours. She remarked, “So we’ll see I’m going to try and get it (board pass) printed and we’ll see.”
Meanwhile, WPTV received an email from a passenger at Ronald Reagan Washington Airport, who reported being stranded on the tarmac for an hour due to the power outage. The individual expressed disappointment upon learning that the power restoration process would likely exceed three hours, causing further delays.
In the midst of the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Airspace System did not register any abnormalities on its alert system. Furthermore, there have been no reports of injuries related to the power outage. However, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue did request assistance from Air-Stair 81, a motorized set of stairs, to aid an aircraft at a gate.
As Palm Beach International Airport recovers from this temporary disruption, investigations into the cause of the outage will continue, ensuring that such incidents can be avoided in the future.