Power was restored at Tullamarine before noon. The power outage struck at about 9.30am, shutting down security screening, plunging terminals into semi-darkness and halting baggage and check-in operations.
Passengers (those who could see their phones) vented their frustration on Twitter. “Melbourne Airport in the news: ‘very gloomy, a bit post-apocalyptic’ (and that’s just the toilets!)” tweeted one.
Comedians had a field day: “Power’s out at Melbourne airport. Now no one will believe I had the top score on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game,” tweeted Josh Earl.
“Oh dear. Blackout at Melbourne Airport. Trying to stay positive. I’m thinking of it as an unscheduled Earth Hour,” retorted Tom Gleeson.
All incoming and outgoing Virgin flights were delayed for about an hour – but Qantas said it had not been affected because it had back-up power, ABC News reported.
ABC News Online’s Jen King was among passengers who flew into the airport just as the blackout struck. The pilot told passengers they wouldn’t be able to disembark from the front door because the airbridge wasn’t working. When passengers eventually disembarked, they found themselves in a terminal filled with people sitting around in the dark, many of whom were “a bit irritated”. Downstairs the carousels had stopped and people were stumbling around in the dark as luggage was handed out piece by piece.
About 10 international flights were delayed as lengthy queues built up at Customs.
Airport officials are investigating.
Meanwhile, Sydney Airport was recovering from an embarrassing goof by Defence personnel who inadvertently caused a bomb scare. Two apparent bombs found in a rental car at the airport turned out to be dummy charges used by Defence as part of a training exercise.
Someone returned the rental car (to Hertz reportedly, though that couldn’t be verified) with the two improvised explosive device (IED) training aids left sitting in the back. What the cleaners said can be imagined. Australian Federal Police evacuated the area after the suspicious items were spotted, though it didn’t affect the running of the airport or flights.
Again, comedians had their say, with Wil Anderson tweeting: “Bomb scare in car park at Sydney Airport. Terrorists must be well financed if they can afford Sydney Airport parking.”
Written by : Peter Needham