Airport gets back on track after blackout 

Everything was business as usual at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday, following a major power outage airportwide the day before.

Airport officials were still trying to determine the cause of the hourlong power failure on Wednesday, which was due to a "switching problem" in the airport’s internal electrical system, according to airport spokesman Mike McCarron.

The emergency power system kicked in after the outage that started at approximately 4:45 p.m., feeding life safety systems, control tower communications and some light fixtures. But the outage hit baggage claim, AirTrain, ticket counters and left some passengers traveling during that unlucky time a little upset.

Though some passengers were disappointed by how the airport dealt with disabled customers who couldn’t use the stairs and those who had to lug baggage up several flights of stairs, McCarron said the emergency systems were most important to keep up and running.

Escalators were inoperative even after power was restored because the airport didn’t want them to lurch forward suddenly if they were turned on at the same time. McCarron reported that before he left work Wednesday afternoon, airport engineers had already turned each of the nearly 200 escalators back on individually.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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