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UPDATE: McCarran Airport traffic control tower reopens after employee tests positive

Posted at 10:38 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 20:32:58-04

MARCH 25: McCarran International Airport says that its air traffic control tower has reopened, and operations are gradually returning to normal, one week after it announced the tower was temporarily closed because an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

MARCH 23: For the 5th day, air travel at McCarran International Airport is still being impacted after an air traffic controller tested positive for coronavirus.

Las Vegas' major airport tweeted Monday morning that travelers should still expect cancellations and delays. They also tweeted photos of an employee cleaning in the airport.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- The air traffic control tower at McCarran International Airport was temporarily closed after an air traffic controller tested positive for coronavirus.

The temporary closure and positive test were confirmed late Wednesday evening in a statement released from the FAA:

“The air traffic control tower at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is temporarily closing while we ensure a safe work environment for air traffic controllers and technicians.

RELATED: National, state coronavirus coverage

On Wednesday, an air traffic controller at the facility tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The Las Vegas Terminal Radar Approach Control has assumed control of the airspace.

The airport remains open and operations will continue at a reduced rate until the situation is resolved. The air traffic system is a resilient system with multiple backups in place.

This shift in operational control is a regular execution of a longstanding contingency plan to ensure continued operations. Each facility across the country has a similar plan that has been updated and tested in recent years.

The safety of our staff and the traveling public is the FAA’s top priority. Our controllers, inspectors and others with critical safety or security sensitive roles are essential components of our national airspace.

The FAA continues to maintain close contact with airports, airlines and other stakeholders during this situation.”

A spokesperson for McCarran International Airport said about 40 flights were diverted Wednesday evening.