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Flight operations resume at HNL following brief grounding

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A medical emergency grounded all flights out of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for about an hour on Wednesday leading to numerous delays.

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Flights have resumed but it affected not just outgoing flights but also the incoming flights.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation said it started around one o’clock this afternoon.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, flights were grounded because emergency personnel attended to a control room employee at the control tower.

KHON2 News asked the FAA if it was just one person and why did operations stop. A spokesman said there were other people working but they attended to the employee in the control room.

The FAA spokesman added that they stopped the flights due to the presence of emergency medical personnel.

By around 2 p.m., the ground stop was lifted by the HDOT.

However, this delayed flights leaving Honolulu as well as Maui passengers who had to wait for their plane that was coming in from Honolulu.

“I was sitting at Maui airport for an hour and a half,” said California visitor Diane Carlson-Biggs. “They said the airplane was delayed in Honolulu and they will be leaving shortly and it was 20 min, 40 min, an hour and a half.”

“It was about two hours — our layover in Maui. It was supposed to be less than an hour,” said another Californian visitor Gerrie Jacquez. “It wasn’t a problem for us but we were all together. But that airport is so small. There was nowhere to sit. So we had to sit on the floor and wait so it was a little bit uncomfortable.”

KHON2 News reached out to the airlines to find out how many flights were affected. Hawaiian Airlines said it primarily affected their neighbor island operations. Passengers flying this evening should check the status of their flights for updates.

Alaska Airlines said their flights were not affected. KHON2 News also reached out to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and a spokesperson said military flights were not affected.

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