Power outage at Sky Harbor Airport grounds airline traffic

By Greg Hahne
Published: Monday, November 8, 2021 - 11:32am
Updated: Monday, November 8, 2021 - 6:59pm

sky harbor airport
Christina Van Otterloo/KJZZ
View of Sky Harbor International Airport from the Sky Train in 2020.

An equipment problem during scheduled maintenance Monday caused a power outage at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport that halted airline traffic.

Arizona Public Service, the largest electric utility in the state, issued a statement Monday that said crews were performing maintenance at Sky Harbor when "a piece of electrical equipment failed, causing a power outage at both terminals." APS also said one crew member was hurt and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

APS said the power outage hit Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 around 8:05 a.m. 

Power was restored to Terminal 3 as of 9 a.m. APS said the power was fully restored to Terminal 4 by about 1:45 p.m.

APS also said Monday afternoon that it is looking into what caused the failure of a switching cabinet, the piece of equipment that caused the outage. 

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines both operate out of Terminal 4, which is the airport’s largest and busiest terminal, and Sky Harbor says the outage had a significant impact on both airlines. 

“During the outage we had more than 200 delays, more than 90 cancelations and more than 15 inbound flights that were diverted to other airports," said Julie Rodriguez, spokesperson for Sky Harbor Airport.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration's website, a ground stop was ordered at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday. Shortly after 11 a.m., Sky Harbor announced that American and Southwest were beginning to release flights for departure and arrival, and that some diverted flights were now on their way to the airport.

It is not yet clear if air traffic control saw power outages. 

Airport officials say delays are likely throughout the evening and are urging travelers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

KJZZ's Thalia Lopez contributed to this report.