TYLER TX (KLTV) - Things are getting back to normal after smoke was reported in DFW International Airport’s Terminal Radar Approach Control building, and the Federal Aviation Administration issued a “ground stop” that caused flight delays Wednesday afternoon. The incident also affected flights arriving and departing at Dallas Love Field.
The radar approach controllers that were evacuated from a building earlier today have now returned and are back on duty.
“The controllers are back on position and the airspace is back to full capacity,” Lynn Lunsford, a communication manager for the FAA’s Mid-States Division said in an e-mail. ‘It will likely take some time to work through the delays. Please contact the airlines for specific flight information, including the number of delays and cancellations.”
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport may have been one of the North Texas airports that were affected by the delays. According to a website for the airport, American Airlines Flight 3674 was supposed to leave for Tyler at 1:03 p.m., and the arrival time has now been moved back to 2:43 p.m. The flight arrived at 2:32 p.m, according to the airport’s website.
“Air traffic controllers were forced to evacuate from the DFW Terminal Radar Approach Control, which manages airspace across most of North Texas, after a report of smoke in the building, possibly from ongoing construction work,” Lunsford said.
DFW’s Department of Public Service responded to the alarm, which was issued shortly before 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Lunsford said the FAA put a ground stop in place to help manage the volume of traffic in the interim.
To be clear, this is not the control tower (DFW actually has one on each side of the airfield),” Lunsford said. “It’s the big radar room that controls airspace over much of North Texas. All flights coming into – or out of – DFW and Love must pass through the TRACON airspace.”
Lunsford said while DFW DPS personnel were clearing the smoke from the building, the two control towers at DFW were still staffed and operational. She added that under the airport’s contingency plan, the controllers from the radar room relocated to the control towers to “resume limited service in the affected airspace for both DFW and Dallas Love Field.”