Air traffic

KCI to reopen after evacuating air traffic control cabin

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – All staff in the tower cabin at Kansas City International Airport were evacuated to their safety amid high winds and thunderstorms.

The main Kansas City-area airline hub switched to “Air Traffic Control (ATC) Zero” shortly before 6 p.m., according to KCI’s official Twitter account.

All Federal Aviation Administration personnel were moved out of the cabin, leaving the airport without air traffic controllers for flights to KCI.

“There will likely be hijackings and delays,” according to KCI. “Allow 1 hour. “

With the worst of the storm over, air traffic controllers were allowed to return to the tower cabin and the airport was set to resume after a visual scan to ensure there was no debris on tracks.

The airport was supposed to reopen around 6:45 p.m.

Travelers should check for updates on flight delays and possible cancellations.

The National Weather Service has confirmed winds as fast as 67 mph at KCI this evening.

KCI’s tower is 256 feet high, which presents an increased danger in strong winds.

Yet it is rare for the tower to be evacuated, according to KCI senior director of marketing and communications Joe McBride.