LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Southwest Airlines told 8 News Now that have reduced their operations out of McCarran International Airport after an FAA ATC Tower was closed when it was discovered that an air traffic controller had tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.
The airline confirmed that there were more than 130 flight cancellations and added:
“We’re offering flexible accommodations for all impacted Customers. We always encourage Customers to check Southwest.com for travel notifications and flight status.”Ro Hawthorne, Communications Lead for Southwest Airlines
Airport officials stress that although the air traffic control tower is temporarily shut down, there is no risk to safety with flights in or out of Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Terminal Radar Approach Control has assumed control of the airspace.
The FAA announced the closure of the tower late Wednesday night and in a statement Thursday morning said that the tower was undergoing a “deep and thorough cleaning”. They are also determining how many air traffic controllers will have to self-isolate. In the meantime, operations will continue at a reduced rate.
The FAA said the air traffic system is resilient with multiple backups in place and that the safety of employees and the traveling public is always the top priority.