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Winds force Las Vegas flights to be diverted to Ontario Airport

March 6, 2012 |  6:43 pm

Powerful winds were causing a number of flights to and from Las Vegas to be delayed or diverted to airports, including those in Ontario and Phoenix, officials said Tuesday evening.

The winds were creating moderate to severe turbulence, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Los Angeles.

"We have a ground delay program in effect for McCarran [International Airport] from airports up to 1,600 miles away. That means we meter the flow of Las Vegas departures from those airports to achieve a manageable arrival rate," Gregor told The Times.

Officials at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport reported that some arriving flights were being delayed an average of 2 hours and 37 minutes. Passengers at gates or in planes on taxiways were experiencing waits up to an hour.

Gregor said officials were trying to determine the number of flights that have been affected. The winds are expected to continue blowing through tomorrow.

[Updated 6:55 p.m.: All flights have been cleared to land and depart from McCarran Airport, Gregor said.]

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— Robert J. Lopez

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