Faulty transmission line blamed for power outage at Honolulu’s airport

Updated: Jun. 12, 2019 at 5:16 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A power outage shut down a large portion of Honolulu’s airport Wednesday morning, but it’s now back to business as usual.

Power in the Hawaiian Airlines terminal was knocked out for nearly an hour. Officials blamed the blackout on a faulty Hawaiian Electric transmission line.

The ordeal left travelers stuck in security lines that wrapped all the way around to Terminal 2.

“It’s chaos,” said traveler Cheryl Corbett. “Everything’s backed up outside.”

Many Hawaiian Airlines passengers feared they’d miss their flight.

“Hopefully, I’ll get through,” said Angel Garcia.

Jeff Helfrick, vice president of airport operations for Hawaiian Airlines, explained the extent of the outage: “All power was out from security checkpoints, to kiosks, to jet bridges.”

When electricity was restored around 10:15 a.m., travelers cheered as security lines once again started to move. Many credited staff for how the situation was handled.

“Everyone was cool, calm and collected," said traveler Bob Harrison.

Helfrick says Hawaiian brought in close to 50 workers from their corporate office to help get operations back on track.

“You can see them with vests on and at the kiosks. They’re here to support our front line staff," he said.

In the end, flight delays were minimal and the airport was able to resume normal operations by 1 p.m.

Airport officials confirmed there were never any security issues. The outage didn’t impact air traffic control either.

However, initially, electricity was knocked out to both Terminals 1 and 2.

“There is a backup power system that did go on in Terminal 2,” said airport spokesman Tim Sakahara. “It worked correctly in Terminal 2 and the rest of the airport.”

Now crews are trying to figure out the back-up system failed to activate in Terminal 1.

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