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Brief: Travelers Find Heat, Humidity at Cyril E. King Airport

June 29, 2007 — The air-conditioning system at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas broke down Thursday morning and repair efforts were still underway Friday afternoon, according to a news release from the V.I. Port Authority.
Fluctuations in electrical power coming into the airport from WAPA damaged the air-conditioning system's chiller unit, causing it to shut down Thursday morning, the release said. Attempts to repair the unit Thursday evening were unsuccessful, and VIPA contracted with the Trane Company, manufacturer and installer of the system, to provide technicians to help make the repairs.
The technicians arrived Friday afternoon and began working immediately. They were working with the VIPA maintenance staff to install replacement parts on the chiller unit. Work will continue until the unit is back online, the release said.
In addition to working to restart the air-conditioning system as quickly as possible, VIPA took several steps throughout the day to alleviate the inconvenience and discomfort of travelers and airport workers. First responders from VIPA's Airport Rescue and Fire Fighter Unit were stationed in the terminal to provide immediate assistance to anyone in need. VIPA officials also advised the Schneider Hospital of the situation at the airport.
VIPA employees distributed water to waiting passengers in the departure lounges. Finally, VIPA acquired several portable air-conditioning units and deployed them to the most-congested areas of the terminal. These units provided some relief in critical areas, the release said.
The authority and WAPA are working collaboratively to identify and solve the power-fluctuation problem, which was the underlying cause of Thursday's shut-down. Port Authority and WAPA officials met Friday to discuss the matter and will conduct a series of voltage tests in the near future to diagnose the problem and formulate a remedy.
“Once again, the staff and management of the V.I. Port Authority sincerely apologizes for this inconvenience,” the release said. “ We greatly appreciate the continued patience of all travelers, airport tenants and employees as we work to resolve this issue.”
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