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PRR 60

Power Failure at Atlanta International Airport (12/17)

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A failure of presently undetermined/undisclosed origin cut power to Atlanta International Airport. The outage hit at about 1pm EST and has affected all areas of the airport, landside and airside. ATL is the busiest airport in the world (by passenger count) and is the major hub for Delta Air Lines. Nothing is moving, either outbound or inbound.

 

AJC.com

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A female passenger posted a photo of her plane sitting on the tarmac at Hartsfield. She has been there for over 4 hours. She is headed to Hartford, CT but no way to know how long it will be. Now if she could get to an Amtrak station in Atlanta, she could train home on the Crescent and a regional. A train ride beats a plane ride... :P

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I’m flying to Arizona in a few days. Thank god I’m not flying today.

 

Actually Amtrak could get some business because how are they going to accommodate all those passengers who got cancelled today. Flights will be full the next few days...

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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You two are irrepressible nerds. Also, funny. :giggle:

 

We like to think so.

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There is some morbid entertainment in reading the Twitter feeds coming from the Atlanta Airport and Delta Airlines. Lot of upset people out there.

 

One person said they’d never take Delta again and a response was that the other airlines are also hit so you might as well drive...or take Amtrak.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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I don't get why people are blaming the airlines. It's not their fault the power is out. They're suffering too. I'm sure the pilots and flight attendants have better places to be, just like the passengers.

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The real question is why anyone would want to be in Atlanta?😁😉

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There is one thing that unites people all over the world, no matter what; our undying need to affix blame on a singular entity. It doesnt matter that most things like this are an unfortunate confluence of random events; somebody or something must be crucified.

 

And you know better than to wonder why people are that asinine; they just are.

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'Twas a fire at the main substation supplying the airport. The power company clearly did not have a business continuity plan for the airport for such an eventuality. maybe the airport did not plan for it either. It would be an interesting read when the report on the analysis of what happened comes out.

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'Twas a fire at the main substation supplying the airport. The power company clearly did not have a business continuity plan for the airport for such an eventuality. maybe the airport did not plan for it either. It would be an interesting read when the report on the analysis of what happened comes out.

Yep, why would you need a backup power source for the busiest airport in the US? ( even more so during the Holiday Season)

 

What on earth could possibly go wrong?🤔

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From the press conference last night, they do have a backup power source in place, but the fire apparently also took out the switch that would have allowed them to fail over to the backup power source. I'll bet that there'll be some research on how to harden that switch once the dust settles.

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I don't get why people are blaming the airlines.

Perhaps people don't like the way airlines, Delta in particular, have responded to the event. In contrast, for example, the last time I flew to Chicago the flight was 3 hours late and SWA gave everyone on the flight a $100 voucher. First Choice Forever!

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The real question is why anyone would want to be in Atlanta?

 

If they were at the airpotrt, it's fair to assume they were trying to get away from Atlanta. :) :)

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From the press conference last night, they do have a backup power source in place, but the fire apparently also took out the switch that would have allowed them to fail over to the backup power source. I'll bet that there'll be some research on how to harden that switch once the dust settles.

 

This would appear to violate the principle of N-1 redundancy, meaning no single failure can bring the system down. Thus in addition to a second power supply you would need a second set of switchgear, a second control system, etc.

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I recall when Amtrak was searching for a location to house its 'Arrow' computer system, for reservations, as well as operations and maintenance....

The site they selected in Philly was an older loft building, that was fed by two entirely separate power sub stations.....(not sure if they are still at that location)...

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There is one thing that unites people all over the world, no matter what; our undying need to affix blame on a singular entity. It doesnt matter that most things like this are an unfortunate confluence of random events; somebody or something must be crucified. And you know better than to wonder why people are that asinine; they just are.

 

I happen to find Delta reasonably agreeable for domestic trips, but let's be a bit more considerate about why negative developments become so contentious these days. An ever shrinking number of US airlines send the vast majority of our nation's time sensitive passengers through a tiny number of ever larger fortress hubs. When even a single fortress hub goes haywire a larger number of passengers are impacted with fewer alternatives than ever before. Add to that dynamic the tradition of treating front line employees poorly. Employees who have few options other than taking their frustrations out on their customers. Customers who in turn can't do anything about their own predicament other than blaming the messenger. The people who have the power to change anything important or expensive (upper level executives at the airline, airport, and power company) are largely unreachable and unaccountable to the people who are directly impacted by their decisions. This creates a situation where the decision makers are insulated from most of the criticism while most of blame is passed around between people who have no practical method for addressing or resolving it.

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Also, usually there is a measurable tradeoff between resiliency and cost of efficiency.In the next quarter's financial results driven world, there is a tendency to ignore resiliency because its absence will be a real issue only rather infrequently, one hopes. But the quest for efficiency progressively makes the entire system more fragile, making the assumption about infrequency of unrecoverable failures more and more invalid. Ergo, when things go south (a) they really go far south, and (b) they start happening more often.

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Oh, I know that. In this case the fault lays with a combination of the airport and the power company and an unfortunate fire. But it is unreasonable to hold one single buffoon responsible for the actions or inactions of a class of clowns.

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I flew in from Shannon during the middle of this. It was only the terminal affected, ATC and all other airport functions were powered. So too was the south cargo ramp where we parked. Coming in was eerily quiet, normally Atlanta approach is just non stop radio calls but that night we were the only aircraft on frequency from check in to turning off the runway. The terminal buildings were just blacked out with the only random lights off vehicles shining in between them. The roads leading into the west terminal were solid red from all the vehicles stuck in traffic trying to get in to I guess pick people up. This was a few hours after the power loss and there were still Delta jets strung our across the taxiways waiting for a gate, and lav trucks darting in between them to keep them serviced.

 

I was insanely lucky to already have a hotel room and ticket out the next morning on the first Delta bird going home that wasn't cancelled. And with my crew access I was able to avoid the ginormous TSA lines. It was a mess.

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