Minor Water Leak Leads to Hundreds of Cancellations, Disruption at JFK on Busiest Travel Weekend

On Saturday night, hundreds of flights were cancelled or delayed by a minor water leak at New York JFK International Airport. This was the busiest weekend for travel this year. The air traffic control tower was evacuated and controllers were required to relocate to another tower while technicians fixed the leak.Due to a small water leak at the main facility, JFK controllers now operate from a secondary tower. The airport tweeted Saturday evening that operations at the facility and weather conditions in the area require greater spacing between aircraft.According to the tweet, most JFK flights are being held by the FAA until they depart. Around 10:30 PM, hundreds of flights were cancelled or delayed. According to the airport, disruptions are expected to continue until Sunday.The airport stated that the primary control tower was gradually getting back to normal, around an hour after it had tweeted to announce the evacuation. A spokesperson said that the airport is still open but customers could experience delays due to regional weather conditions and other factors.Friday's screening at airport checkpoints in the country by the Transporation Security Administration was another record breaking day in recent weeks for air passenger numbers.Friday's TSA checkpoint screening saw the largest number of passengers since the outbreak of the pandemic. It even exceeded that of 2019.TSA Administrator David Pekoske advised passengers to be prepared for delays and urged them to keep their cool and to have patience as they travel over the next weeks.Airlines have had to deal with disruptions caused by minor but unexpected water leaks. They also have to contend with staff shortages and severe weather after an unexpectedly quick recovery from the pandemic. Southwest Airlines and JetBlue offered staff double-pay to compensate them for working overtime on July 4.