Flights canceled/delayed at all three Valley Airports due to communication system in need of repairs

2 months 1 week 5 days ago Monday, September 25 2023 Sep 25, 2023 September 25, 2023 2:33 PM September 25, 2023 in News - Local

At the Valley International Airport in Harlingen, people are on their phones waiting for an update on their flight.

The delays are not only in Harlingen, but at the McAllen International Airport and the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport.

The issue is not directly coming from the Valley.

Officials say the equipment in Harlingen is working, but the Federal Aviation Administration says a communication system at the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Facility needed repairs.

Around 1,500 passengers arriving and departing out of Valley International Airport were impacted. 

The director of aviation says that this airport lost all radar and communication with pilots from air traffic controllers.

Now, according to the FAA's website, the ground stop was lifted but went into place at around 10 a.m. Monday.

Valley International Airport says that's when they lost connection with the communication link out of Corpus Christi.

The equipment transmits radar picture and audio to the pilots.

One man whose flight from Houston was scheduled to land this morning in Harlingen said they made a stop in Corpus Christi.

"About 30 minutes before we landed they told us that the airport was closed, that they had no communication with the tower, and they couldn't land, so we basically did circles around the gulf for I would say 30 minutes," passenger Alex Arteaga said.

Arteaga decided to drive from Corpus to the Valley and made it here about an hour ago.

Others have changed their flight for tomorrow, but some people have been here since 10 a.m. holding out hope, though their flight status currently says delayed. 

It could be some time until all the flights are back on schedule.

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