Runway hole halts planes at Halifax airport
Dozens of flights in and out of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport were cancelled or delayed Monday morning after a hole was discovered on the surface of the main runway over the weekend.
The hole — about three centimetres deep and 50 centimetres in diameter — ran down the centre of the main runway, according to the a spokeswoman with the airport.
"There's no way to kind of miss it," said Jennifer Delorey Lyon.
"You have this issue in the centre of a runway that's the one that we've been using the most."
The hole had caused eight diversions and 37 cancelled flights as of 4:20 p.m. on Sunday. Those cancellations caused a chain reaction that resulted in further delays Monday morning.
Some of the flights cancelled on Sunday were headed to Boston, Toronto, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa and Sydney.
Steven and Sarah Stepien were among several hundred passengers who were forced to book hotels and find other flights when their original plans were compromised.
The Stepiens are newlyweds who were supposed to be on their way to Milan.
"A little upset," said Sarah Stepien.
"It's our honeymoon so we would have liked to have had no problems," her husband added.
"We're actually really distraught. We planned this for months and to have something unfortunate like a sinkhole completely destroy any plans we made is actually pretty gut wrenching, to be honest."
Officials with the Halifax Stanfield International Airport said they weren't calling the hole a sinkhole, but they're not sure exactly what it is or what caused it.
There was one other runway available on Sunday, but the navigational system that assists in landing was not functioning. Because of the weather, pilots chose not to use that runway.
Greg Corra, a traveller, said he couldn't believe it.
"When you think of an airport like this can go into such a standstill through one very small issue and they can't fix it, it's just amazing," he said.
"You'd think an airport would have someone on standby to fix it and fix it fast."
A construction crew was able to fix the hole shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.