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Charlotte Douglas Airport working to clear delays after fuel leak closed runways

An emergency landing Tuesday morning forced the closure of two of the airport's three runways.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — All runways at Charlotte Douglas International Airport have reopened after an emergency landing Tuesday morning prompted the closure of two of the airport's three operating runways.

Operators are working to clear a backlog of delays that stacked up while the airport was operating with only one runway.

A departing flight Tuesday leaked fuel on the airport's center runway, according to the FAA. This fuel leak forced the closure of the center runway for the cleanup.

Once in the air, the plane declared an emergency and returned to the airport, where it landed safely on the airport's leftmost runway. The continued fuel leak also forced the closure of that runway.

The airport safely returned to the airport. The flight has been identified as Delta flight 2481, which originally departed Charlotte bound for Detriot at 9:22 a.m., according to flight tracking data. The plane returned to the airport at 10:04 a.m.

While ground crews worked to clean up the spilled fuel, the FAA issued a ground stop preventing additional flights destinated for Charlotte from departing their original airport. This act helps limit and pace congestion in Charlotte. 

The center runway was able to reopen at 10 a.m. with the left runway reopening by 10:30 a.m.

The FAA lifted the ground stop. Delays continued in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday morning's runway closures.

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