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Temporary ground stops ordered at Dallas airports due to COVID-19, weather

Dec. 30 (UPI) — Aviation officials issued a temporary ground stop for all flights into and out of Dallas’ two largest airports Wednesday due to a combination of factors including COVID-19 and severe thunderstorms.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport — the fourth largest in the United States — and Dallas Love Field Airport announced the disruptions around 3:30 p.m. Flights resumed around 5:30 p.m.

FlightAware tracking website said there was an average departure delay of 40 minutes to 49 minutes for the airports and average inbound delay of 58 minutes to 74 minutes shortly after the ground stoppage was ordered.

At DFW, 29 outgoing flights have been canceled and 427 flights delayed Wednesday, while 35 incoming flights have been canceled and 336 delayed. At the smaller Love Field, two outgoing flights were canceled and 65 delayed, while one incoming flight was canceled and 56 delayed.

A post on DFW airport’s Twitter account said one reason for the ground stop was that the Regional Air Traffic Control center was getting a thorough cleaning after having multiple positive COVID-19 test results among personnel this month. One of the positive employees had been inside the center in the past seven days, prompting a “Level 3” cleaning of all areas where they’d been.

“Because the cleaning required controllers to temporarily leave the control room, the FAA declared a ground stop, which held traffic at departing facilities,” the tweet said.

There have been 22 COVID-19 cases at the center in Fort Worth, Texas.

The FAA also sited inclement weather for delays in the region.

Widespread storms across Texas have dumped several inches of rain — and even snow — in some areas, AccuWeather reported.

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