Airport problems expected to be fixed Tuesday - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/8/10

Airport problems expected to be fixed Tuesday

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By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Problems at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport are expected to be fixed Tuesday morning. The airport's Instrument Landing System has been down for almost a week causing dozens of delays and cancellations.

The ILS device helps planes land safely, especially during bad weather. Some planes use other landing systems and don't need the ILS, but one of the major carriers Southwest relies on this system. "Our number one focus is, one get this fixed and secondly to make sure it is working correctly, you know, for the safety of the passengers on these airplanes," said Congressman Randy Neugebauer in a phone interview.

Neugebauer says he's been in constant contact with the FAA who has been worked on fixing the ILS all weekend. "As they've tested the equipment themselves they believe the equipment does work properly, but  other signals are distorting the data to the airplanes," said Neugebauer.

All that's left to do is a test flight to make sure all the interfering signals are gone. "In order to make sure the system is fully and functionally operational they have a test plane that they want to fly in and test out the equipment before they open the system up," said Neugebauer. The test flight was scheduled to run this morning but bad weather caused the test to be canceled.

FAA has rescheduled the test flight for Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., coming from Oklahoma City. The weather could cause another delay in the testing, but if the flight goes as planned the ILS will be up and running immediately.

Neugebauer says cases where the ILS devices fail are rare, but not unusual, that's why the FAA has such testing equipment.

If you have a flight this week, it's recommended you call ahead to check on the status of your flight. (Click here) for the airline numbers.

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