BALTIMORE (WJZ) — BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is in a “ground stop” because of an incident at an FAA facility in Virginia.
Flights across the region were stuck on the tarmac after fumes from construction work got into the Washington Center control room, which handles high altitude flights over the area.
The FAA reports employees were allowed back into the building at 9 p.m., and air traffic controllers resumed operations at 9:30 p.m., as flights began to take off.
FAA officials expect to be back to normal operations by Tuesday morning.
Delta is issuing travel waivers for those affected by the incident. Click here for more information.
It was a little too late for many customers who will have to sleep at the airport Monday night because of canceled flights.
From Maryland to D.C., D.C. to Virginia, planes were lined up on the tarmac not moving.
The problem? Fumes inside an FAA tower from nearby construction forced the agency to evacuate workers and stop taking flights.
The effects were seen on flight boards across the region, with cancellations and delays left and right.
One passenger who spoke with WJZ’s Ava-joye Burnett actually made it onto a plane, but had to get off.
“We knew right after we boarded and got on that it was taking a long time,” they said. “And then when the engines went down, so you sort of heard the AC go down, you sort of heard everything go down a little bit.”
Many of those affected were on connecting flights. When they landed at BWI, they found out their flights were canceled.
So now they are waiting on long lines trying to find out how they’ll get home.
The ground stop was in place for about three hours, but for many desperate passengers, this unwelcome layover tested their patience.
[Reporter: “What time is your new flight?”] “8 o’ clock tomorrow morning, and they said you have to sleep at the airport. They won’t even accommodate their customers,” said one passenger who was flying to Charleston.