Skip to main content

Melbourne Airport goes black

By Alexis Lai, CNN
updated 11:35 PM EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
Passengers wait to board their Qantas flights at Melbourne Airport on October 31, 2011.
Passengers wait to board their Qantas flights at Melbourne Airport on October 31, 2011.
  • Melbourne airport experienced power blackout on Wednesday morning local time
  • Blackout lasted about an hour, with flights grounded and passenger processing halted
  • Flights now back in operation, with some airlines reporting delays in flight schedules

(CNN) -- Melbourne airport was hit with a power outage on Wednesday, temporarily grounding outgoing flights and bringing other airport services to a halt.

At 9:31 a.m. local time, the Australian airport posted on its official Twitter account that a "major power outage has affected airport operations."

While the blackout lasted only an hour, according to the Age, it caused chaos in airport procedures and consternation among passengers. Aside from flight delays, customs processing was halted, security gates were closed, and shops could not conduct sales. Eventually, both security and customs began processing passengers manually, with security staff examining luggage manually.

''It's pretty frustrating. People are just sitting around and looking pissed off. Everyone has basically given up on their day,'' a woman named Ms. Hamilton told the Age.

Passengers on incoming flights were also kept waiting, including ABC News correspondent, Jen King . "Everyone was sitting around in the dark," she said. "Then we made our way out. But of course once we went past the security it looked a nightmare."

"It was just packed with people. "[We went] downstairs to the luggage area which was a bit of a fiasco as well because none of the carousels were working.

Flights eventually came back into operation, according a tweet posted at 11:08am local time by Melbourne Airport.

Airlines have reported different impacts on their flights, ranging from Qantas, whose spokeswoman told the Age that back-up power allowed its services to remain running, while Virgin Australia tweeted there would be some "minor delays."

It remains unclear what caused the power outage.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.