Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - Five flights were canceled Thursday at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. The instrument landing system or ILS is a crucial device used during bad weather to make sure planes come in safely but currently it is out of order. It was pilots who noticed the ILS was not working properly and since then, for safety reasons, it has been out of commission.
More than a dozen flights have already been canceled this week, because of this problem. The ILS is a ground based approach device that helps keep airplanes on track for a safe landing. The system has been around for decades and is primarily used during bad weather.
"I've been doing what I'm doing for about 41 years and I'm also a pilot and this is the first time I've had anything like this happen to me at an airport," says LPSIA Aviation Director James Loomis.
Currently at the Lubbock airport the ILS is down, and Loomis says if the weather is okay then it is not need but if we bad weather rolls into town like earlier this week that is when it continues to be a problem. "It's really unfortunate that a system like this that is so vital to our transportation that has gone out during a weather event. Unfortunately it has happened that way and it has affected a lot of people," adds Loomis.
Currently there are two other alternatives for the ILS, but not all Lubbock carriers have access to them. "Some of the airplanes flying commercial operations in and out of this airport have the RNF system and some don't. It's unfortunate that our largest carrier doesn't have the RNF system and that would be Southwest," says Loomis who adds that the ILS is now in the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA has not given a time frame on how long the ILS will be down. If you have upcoming flight this weekend be sure to check with your carrier for delays and cancellations especially if the weather turns bad.
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