02/17/2013 04:04 EST | Updated 04/19/2013 05:12 EDT

Power back up at Calgary airport after disruption

Power has been restored at the Calgary International Airport after an electricity disruption left passengers in the dark and in long lineups for several hours on Sunday morning.

There were numerous power outages in northeast and southeast Calgary overnight that were caused by pole fires, said Enmax spokeswoman Doris Kaufmann-Woodcock.

Those outages caused the power failure at the airport, temporarily shutting down lights and computers while the emergency system came on, said Jody Moseley, spokeswoman for the Calgary Airport Authority.

“We are now back up 100 per cent,” she said.

Moseley did not know how many flights were affected by the power disruption. There were two WestJet cancellations and some delayed flights as well, said company spokesman Robert Palmer.

According to Enmax, the airport itself did not experience an outage, but its power was knocked off by the outages that occurred in the surrounding areas.

“They have somewhat sensitive systems for obvious reasons and I believe had some issues as a result of the power outages that were going on in other areas,” Kaufmann-Woodcock said.

About 5,400 Enmax customers were without power for three hours starting at 3:30 a.m. in Country Hills, Harvest Hills and some surrounding communities, Kaufmann-Woodcock said.

A pole fire also caused outages for about 1,200 residences in Forest Lawn, Dover and Albert Park, she said.

Pole fires are a common problem at this time of the year as road salt builds up on the poles, combines with wet spring snow and sparks a short circuit, Kaufmann-Woodcock said.

“You actually have contamination, you add some moisture then in the form of rain or snow and then electricity is conducted and a short circuit occurs,” she said.

Airport officials will work with Enmax to discover exactly what went wrong and to prevent it from happening again, Moseley said.

In May 2011 a power bump left the airport in the dark for several hours.