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ACTE Statement on the Power Outage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

December 20, 2017 Airport No Comments Email Email

“The past weekend’s catastrophic power outage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport reveals a critical vulnerability in air transport systems—one that has both personal implications for travelers, as well as global security implications. That one of the biggest international air travel hubs in the United States did not have sufficient redundancies or contingency plans in place to prevent this kind of disruption is a beacon for bad actors looking for new ways to cause harm, not only in the US, but worldwide.

“The chaos and confusion that emerged as the airport worked to assist stranded passengers in the terminal and on the tarmac is also a major problem. From constantly communicating updates to passengers to having systems in place to help them get to where they need to go or otherwise find a place to stay for the night, planning for these types of emergencies is non-negotiable.

“At the end of the day, this event is not about assigning blame; instead, it points to the very real need for all stakeholders to work together to prevent this in the future. Airlines, governments and airports all need to collaborate to develop robust, comprehensive emergency plans. Air travel disruptions can have significant economic consequences, and simply cannot be allowed to happen.”

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