Essay Example on Ground Stops in Airports

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Middlebury College
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The federal aviation administration states that grounds stops are always put in place for various reasons. The major reason is that ground stops are implemented for controlling traffic volume to airports when the expected traffic demand surpasses the acceptance rate of the airport for a short period with the aim of temporarily stopping traffic to pave the way for the implementation of a longer-term solution. For instance, Ground delay program. As a result, all flights that were destined to the affected airport are held at the point of departure for the entire duration of the ground stop.

Attributed to problems related to electrical failure which triggered a computer clinch, Delta Airlines was forced to hundreds of departing planes on the ground across the entire united states in August 2016. The problem was as a result of an electric problem at its Atlanta headquarters that resulted in a ground stop of up to seven hours that led to the large cancellation of flights and prevented hundreds of thousands of travelers from traveling (Vasel, 2017). The managing director of Georgia Power Company stated that it was a failure of a piece of equipment known as a switchgear, Delta airline lost millions of money during that particular period. More than five hundred flights were delayed while other were cancelled and with an average of 237 passengers per aircraft and seats estimated at $ 100 per passenger, this loss can be approximated to be millions of US dollars. A lot of passengers were also affected directly and most of them were forced to cancel their flights especially those that were supposed to connect with other airlines before reaching their preferred destinations. Furthermore, some passengers were forced to book other flights to make it to their respective destinations the expense that they had not projected (Carey,2017).The ground stops further affected the reservation system and attracted more attention towards the technical aspects of various airlines. Delta is the second largest Airline in the united states and operates more than 6,000 airlines each day, and you can see what a system failure can cause. Some of the passengers were to connect with other Airlines in different airports, and as a result, some of them lost a lot of money since they were forced to cancel some of the booking(Carey,2017).

Before this incident, South West airline had canceled over 1000 flights due to technical hitches with its system, and now Delta was experiencing a problem with the system that was developed two decades ago. Even after restoring the system back that same day, Delta Airline took almost four days to get back on track which was a major blow to its operations. Delta along with many other airlines will have to start looking to the future of tech systems and upgrade and overhaul them to keep up with demand. The meltdown was as a result of aging technology that the Airline has upgraded for many years (Vasel, 2017).Press Releases:

We here at Delta are working hard to figure out what caused this malfunction, to fix it and ensure that it never happens again.

I want to apologize to all our customers that have been affected by this frustrating situation, and we want to ensure you that we are in the process of updating or tech systems to ensure that an incident like this does not happen again. Thank you.



Carey, S. (2017). Delta Meltdown Reflects Problems with Aging Technology. WSJ. Retrieved 5 August 2017, from

Vasel, K. (2017). Delta delays and cancellations: What stranded fliers are getting. CNNMoney. Retrieved 5 August 2017, from


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