JFK power outage: Terminal 1 to have normal, scheduled flight operations on Sunday after power outage

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) — JFK Airport’s Terminal 1 is expected to have normal, schedule flight operations on Sunday after a substantial power outage.

The outage forced airlines to divert and cancel flights since Thursday. Terminal 1 was reportedly closed “due to electrical issues” after a fire earlier this week.

39 flights were canceled out of Terminal 1 on Friday.

On Saturday, limited operation resumed in Terminal 1, which accounts for about five percent of flights coming in and out of the airport.

Eyewitness News has obtained an email from Port Authority indicating the delay in repairs is because they’re waiting for a part to be driven in from Georgia.

Port Authority continues to work to fix the problem and restore power as some flights were turned around midair and diverted to their points of origin.

For example, an Air New Zealand flight returned to Auckland eight hours into their 16-hour flight and a flight from South Korea turned around after almost making it to the United States.

Farouk Ramic said his Air Serbia flight departed but without a single person onboard. He said the flight was diverted from Terminal 1 to Terminal 7, but he and other stranded passengers had no time to switch terminals.

He is trying to get across the Atlantic to see his 91-year-old father back home in Bosnia.

After the fire and disruption Thursday, travelers arrived to the airport to find everything — from check-in machines to the arrivals and departures board — out. In fact, the updates on the flight boards were written by hand.

Parts of the terminal were operating on a generator. The changes were confusing and even angered some travelers.

“You have how many, six more terminals, seven more terminals here, why would you not move all the flights to other terminals or Newark airport or something? I can’t imagine this situation happen anywhere,” one traveler said.

A group of Swiss Air passengers were told their flight originally scheduled to leave Thursday was rescheduled to Monday — a five-day delay.

The issues at Terminal 1 are of course causing a domino effect of delays and cancellations. Airport officials are asking those traveling Friday to check in with their airlines and take a look at their flight status before heading to the airport.

The Port Authority released a statement Friday afternoon saying they anticipate limited operations to resume at Terminal 1 on Saturday:

“The Port Authority continues to work with Terminal 1’s operator to complete repairs, restore power and resume flight operations at the terminal as soon as possible. No other terminals at the airport are affected. Terminal 1 represents 5% of all JFK scheduled passenger flights, and of today’s 64 scheduled Terminal 1 arrivals and departures, 13 will operate at other JFK terminals, 12 will operate at other local airports, and 39 have been cancelled. Contingent on the completion of repairs and testing, we anticipate the start of limited operations at Terminal 1 on Saturday. Travelers should continue to check with their carriers for flight status before coming to Terminal 1. We will perform a thorough review in conjunction with the private entity that operates Terminal 1.”

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