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Multiple Cancellations at Charlottesville Albemarle Airport

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

November 29, 2005

Flight delays and cancellations caused some headaches for travelers at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, after a major malfunction in FAA equipment.

The weather is probably not helping the situation, but the main problem is that the FAA equipment that malfunctioned is what helps planes to land in the fog.

As of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the TSA security checkpoint was closed and gated off, and many flights were cancelled, which meant a lot of reshuffling for passengers trying to get to where they needed to go.

"I was supposed to fly to Dublin yesterday--from Charlottesville to Atlanta and then on to Dublin, but the flight from Charlottesville to Atlanta was cancelled because of fog," said Cathy Breen.

Breen is among many passengers forced to change their plans after equipment at the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport started acting up Monday - equipment pilots need in the fog.

"We're experiencing multiple flight cancellations. That is due to a problem that is occurring with the FAA owned and maintained ILS system. The ILS system is the instrument landing system that pilots rely on to navigate their approach into the runway," said Marketing Coordinator at CHO, Terrie Dean.

A majority of the 60 flights arriving and leaving from CHO were somehow effected - leaving airport and airline officials working on ways to get passengers out.

"We're going by bus to Richmond...Then we're going to take another flight from Richmond into Charlotte," said passenger, Carol Hoober.

"So far my flight is delayed, predicted about and hour, maybe an hour and a half. So I'm hanging in there to see what my alternative is," said passenger Jeff Reagan.

The situation set many passengers back hours on travel time.

"I was supposed to arrive here yesterday at about 6:05, but I wound up around 9:00 in Richmond," said Ronald Dickinson.

However despite the lines, the waiting, and everything else - it seems most are taking it all in stride.

"I didn't know whether to scream or cry yesterday, but I'm kind of over it now," said Breen.

Airport officials say an FAA crew is working to fix the equipment.

They're hoping to get it up and running again by Wednesday. Officials suggest that you go to their website at www.gocho.com for more information about your flights.


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