Signal failure hampers Reno travel

Reno-Tahoe International Airport lost air traffic control recently when a signal used to guide pilots in poor visibility was interrupted by snowplows maneuvering too close to an antenna.

A combination of snow and equipment failure caused the FAA to suspend flights in and out of the airport for several hours on Nov. 27. The airport's localizer, which provides course information by a radio signal, was disabled for a couple of hours. It took several hours to reset the distance measuring equipment and bring in a technician. All the while, a snowstorm made the airport unusable.

"We're still investigating and working with the airport on what happened and why," said Paul Turk, a FAA spokesman. He ruled out a software glitch.

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