DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – 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.
The evacuated radar room isn’t the control tower (DFW Airport has one on each side of the airfield). It’s a big radar room that controls airspace over much of North Texas. All flights coming into – or out of – DFW Airport and Love Field must pass through the TRACON airspace.
The two control towers at DFW are still staffed and operational. Under the airport’s contingency plan, controllers from the radar room were relocated to the control towers at DFW to resume limited service in the affected airspace for both DFW and Dallas Love Field.
As a result of the evacuation, all inbound and outbound flights were delayed at both airports for about an hour Wednesday afternoon.
The airport tweeted: “We apologize for the inconvenience. If flying this afternoon/evening, confirm your flight’s status with your airline.”
The FAA put the ground stop in place to help manage the volume of traffic in the interim.
DFW Airport tweeted: “A temporary ground stop has been issued by the FAA for incoming flights. Departing flights were delayed briefly but have since resumed.”
There were more than 70 cancellations and more than 70 delays at Love Field by the time the ground stop was eventually lifted around 1:45 p.m. At DFW Airport, there were 17 cancellations and 300 delays.
“Southwest told us we could sit and wait for our 7 o’clock flight this evening and that it probably wouldn’t be likely so we just opted out to go enjoy ourselves downtown,” said passenger Todd Neely. “No reason to get mad about it”