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Hole in runway at LaGuardia Airport causes flight delays, officials say

The exterior of the central terminal at LaGuardia

The exterior of the central terminal at LaGuardia Airport is seen on Nov. 19, 2014. Credit: Uli Seit

A hole in one of LaGuardia’s two runways caused hours-long flight delays Wednesday afternoon and closed one runway for about five hours.

A Port Authority spokesman said runway 13/31 was closed at about 3:10 p.m. after a departing aircraft reported seeing broken pavement on the runway.

A crew began emergency repairs and the runway reopened at 8 p.m.

The spokesman for the Port Authority, which owns and operates LaGuardia, said they don’t know the cause or the size of the damage to the runway.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said they were told by the Port Authority that the agency was repairing damage at the approach end of LaGuardia’s runway 13.

Frustrated travelers who waited for hours in long lines on the tarmac took to social media to vent about the delays.

“Pothole found on the #LGA runway. Flight delays, 30th in line to takeoff! @NYGovCuomo please help this city’s potentially great airport!” said Twitter user @jeffersongaddis.

“3rd world country laguardia airport has only 1 runway working & at least 40 airplanes waiting in line 4 takeoff on beautiful sunny nite,” tweeted user @michaeltomaso.

As of 9 p.m., arriving flights had returned mostly to schedule, according to the FAA’s website. Departing flights are subject to a ground delay program as the airport works with half of its usual runway capacity, and the FAA’s website offered a delay estimate of about an hour.

Travelers are being asked to check with their airlines for specific delay details.

With Laura Blasey

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