Flights disrupted as Heathrow Airport faces lighting problems on runway

  • Heathrow Airport confirmed with CNBC that "our engineering teams are investigating a technical issue with the lighting system for the airport's runways."
  • "Both arrivals and departures will be impacted this morning (hour of darkness when lights are required)," the airport said in an email to CNBC.
An airliner comes in to land at Heathrow Airport in London, Aug. 11, 2014.
Getty Images
An airliner comes in to land at Heathrow Airport in London, Aug. 11, 2014.

Passengers on flights to London's Heathrow Airport were delayed due to runway lighting problems, travelers complained on Twitter Wednesday.

One traveler @TomPodolec said his flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York had to return to the gate after reaching the runway.

Heathrow Airport confirmed there was "a technical issue with the lighting system for the airport's runways," and warned that flights may be canceled or delayed in the morning.

"We have activated our contingency plans and both runways are currently open and operational, although we anticipate there will be some delays at the airport throughout this morning," the airport said in an email to CNBC.

"We are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible," it said.

"Stuck on a @britishairways plane on runway at @JFKairport," tweeted another passenger, ShaanKhan.

"We recommend that all customers travelling with us today check ba.com before they leave home, after a Heathrow Airport lighting fault this morning caused a delay to flights from all airlines," Heathrow told CNBC via email.

"Contingency plans were quickly activated to keep the airfield open, and we plan to operate a full schedule today."

Heathrow Airport apologized to passengers in a tweet, asking travelers affected to check their flight status.

Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport, with a daily average of 213,668 passengers in 2017. The number of passengers that came through Heathrow last year came up to 78 million, according to the airport.

The airport services 81 airlines and 204 destinations in 85 countries. New York's JFK Airport is one of its most popular destinations, Heathrow's website said.

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