Flights have now resumed at both Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field after being temporarily halted Wednesday at the request of the FAA, NBC 5 has learned.
A spokesperson for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport said just before 5:30 p.m. “The FAA has closed the airspace in and out of the DFW Airport until 5:00 p.m. Central Time. This is due to a required sanitization cleaning of offsite FAA facilities that control the airspace in DFW. This will result in flights being delayed or possibly cancelled. Customers are encouraged to monitor flight status boards or contact your airline for updated information.”
Dallas Love Field tweeted just before 5:30 p.m. “The air traffic stoppage has been lifted. Delays will continue, but operations are resuming. Check with your airline for updates on your flight status.”
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed on Wednesday that Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is closed for all incoming and outgoing flights until 5:30 p.m. A spokesperson from Dallas Love Field Airport also confirmed that all incoming and outgoing flights at that airport have also been temporarily halted.
The FAA said the delay is happening for multiple reasons, including thunderstorms and COVID-19. A spokesperson confirmed that the Regional Air Traffic Control center is getting cleaned and that is one reason for the delays.
Information from the FAA shows at least one failed COVID-19 test among personnel at the Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center on several dates this month, including 12/23, 12/28 and 12/30. The FAA also indicates that the control center is operational, but that the facility will be cleaned Wednesday between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Daniel Pitts was on American Airlines Flight 422 headed to Orlando when the ground stop went into place. He told us the pilot of his plane said the control tower was not operating due to COVID-19 and that it could be several hours before flights are allowed to leave. His plane was sent back to the gate and all passengers were allowed to get off the plane and go back into the terminal.
AA Flight 422 passenger Daniel Pitts recorded this video of a gate agent explaining to passengers the reason they have been asked to come to the gate instead of wait on their plane headed to Fort Lauderdale that was unable to take off due to a ground stop at DFW Airport.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. Please refresh this page often for the latest information.