Charleston airport reopened after radar malfunction, low visibility issue

From file.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Charleston airport had to suspend all inbound and outbound flights Thursday night after a radar malfunction and low visibility issues associated with the weather.

According to officials at Charleston International Airport, a VHF omnidirectional radio range malfunctioned. As a result, all flights have been canceled.{}

The VOR is a short-range radio navigation system that allows aircraft to determine where they are located in relation to the airport. It also allows the flight crew to stay on course by receiving a series of beacons from the ground.

Some of the flights were diverted to Savannah and Columbia airports where passengers were then bussed into Charleston.

Delta Airlines officials said their flights would not resume until noon on Friday.

Airport officials are warning travelers to expect longer than usual lines and a busier airport as the airlines work to get back on schedule.{}

Airlines have a system in place to put stranded travelers in hotels for a night and rebook their flights once it is safe to fly.{}

For officials to determine it is safe to fly, they say the VOR has to be up and running again. According to Jane Eagerton with the airport a flight test on the VOR was scheduled for Friday morning.

As of Friday morning, the airport was back open and running, but very slow. Flights have landed and taken off but there are major delays and a lot of frustrated passengers.Eagerton says visibility has improved and a few flights departed Friday morning as well. She advises passengers to check with their airline before arriving at the airport.

A lot of flights have been canceled or oversold, rental cars are running out and there is still no official word if the equipment failure (VOR) is fixed.Officials say to expect a "crazy" day at the airport Friday.

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