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FAA: Flights Left From Closed Pittsburgh Runway

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AP File

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating how air traffic controllers allowed five planes to take off from a closed runway at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The FAA says the aircraft departed Tuesday even though the runway had been closed that morning because of storm damage to runway lights.

According to an FAA statement, a visual aid in the control tower had also been damaged and didn't display the closed runway information. Once the Allegheny County Airport Authority reported the runway was closed, controllers halted departures.

On Jan. 26, a controller cleared a Republic Airlines flight for departure on a runway that had been closed hours earlier for maintenance.

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