NC airport lights off early, disrupting flights

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Officials say runway lights at a North Carolina airport were turned off early, disrupting two incoming flights and canceling two departures.

Wilmington International Airport operations director Gary Broughton told local reporters that a repaving job is occasionally closing both runways late at night. Broughton said the lights were improperly turned off at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, instead of at 12:15 a.m. Thursday.

Federal Aviation Administration officials in Atlanta got the lights back on after the mistake was discovered, but a Delta flight had already turned back to Atlanta and a US Airways plane returned to Charlotte.

Since the planes were not in Wilmington, two early morning flights Thursday were canceled.

Broughton says the airport is working to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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