NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- All incoming and outgoing flights were on hold for about three hours at Norfolk International Airport due to a disabled aircraft on the runway.
Steve Sterling, Deputy Executive Director at ORF, said the airport received an emergency field alert from the FAA Norfolk Tower at around 10:45 a.m. reporting that a Malibu Piper Aircraft that had just taken off had lost power. It was forced to return to the airport, where it ended up having to land on its belly on the main runway.
"The aircraft sustained structural damage and is being removed by crane. Upon removal of the crane, crews will remove the debris and inspect the runway before reopening the runway," Sterling said in his initial statement.
Sterling reported that the plane had been removed and the runway reopened at around 1:40 pm.
According to the online flight tracking website, FlightView, dozens of incoming and outgoing flights have either been diverted or delayed.
Sterling said that some flights had been held at their point of origin. He said he didn't yet know when flight schedules might return to normal.
"I would suggest passengers contact the airline for updates on impacted flights," Sterling said.
The airport closed its shorter, secondary runway earlier this year over concerns that it doesn't have enough space to meet federal crash zone safety requirements. The Airport Authority wants to build another runway parallel to the existing main runway, but so far, the FAA has denied them permission to do so.