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Effects of Fire at New Jersey Airport Ripple Across the Country
Last Friday was a difficult day for air travel in the east, particularly in New Jersey. Along with severe thunderstorms making their way through the area, there was also a fire at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at Atlantic City International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the fire caused the evacuation of 1600 employees at the center. While the fire did not affect those systems used to directly control air traffic, the FAA said it did affect some traffic control systems.
With the trouble, the traffic flow system was switched over to a backup system, but during the transfer traffic flow had to be handled manually. There were 66 JetBlue flights that were either delayed or cancelled by Friday evening, a number that was expected to increase on Saturday. The major airports in New York saw flight delays of nearly an hour and a half to two and a half hours. There were even flight delays as far away as Atlanta.
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