FAA: 5 flights left from closed Pittsburgh runway

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2011 8:12 PM
FAA: 5 flights left from closed Pittsburgh runway

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating how air traffic controllers allowed five planes to take off from a closed runway at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The FAA says the aircraft departed Tuesday even though the runway had been closed that morning because of storm damage to runway lights.

According to an FAA statement, a visual aid in the control tower had also been damaged and didn't display the closed runway information. Once the Allegheny County Airport Authority reported the runway was closed, controllers halted departures.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday (http://bit.ly/qVOCdk) that it's the second such incident at the airport this year.

On Jan. 26, a controller cleared a Republic Airlines flight for departure on a runway that had been closed hours earlier for maintenance.