Runway Lights Go Out at John Wayne Airport

TIMES STAFF WRITER; Times staff writer Jodi Wilgoren contributed to this report

The lights along John Wayne Airport's main runway suddenly went out Wednesday night, halting all arriving commercial flights and delaying departures at Orange County's major airport, a spokeswoman said.

At least 11 flights were affected after the lights along each side of the runway went dark for an unknown reason about 8:25 p.m., officials said.

As of 10:15 p.m., eight arriving flights had been rerouted to airports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, while at least three flights were prevented from taking off, said airport spokeswoman Pat Ware.

It was unclear late Wednesday how long the lights would be out or how many travelers and others at the airport were affected.

Airport officials said that the lights went out at a time when relatively few flights were arriving and departing, but they did not have exact figures on traffic into and out of the county's major airport.

Airport crews were investigating the power outage late Wednesday, checking electrical circuitry, Ware said.

The airport allows commercial flights to arrive until 11 p.m. Departures are allowed until 10 p.m., Ware said. Private aircraft are allowed to land at any time on a shorter runway parallel to the main runway. The outage did not affect the shorter runway, officials said.

This is the first time in two years the lights have gone out along the main runway, Ware said. Power to the rest of the airport was not affected, she said.

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