LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It truly is the busiest time of year.
From planes taking off to landing, there’s a mad dash from the tarmac to luggage claim as families try to get home in the middle of the coronavirus.
Madison Green is waiting for someone, she thinks is her dad’s friend, but little does she know her step-sister is walking right toward her.
“That lady looks like Ruby,” says Green. “Is it really!?”
It could be considered a Christmas miracle that was almost stopped by COVID-19.
On Monday, the FAA grounded all flights into and out of Little Rock so an air traffic control tower in
Memphis could undergo emergency cleaning after an outbreak among employees.
“I thought she wasn’t going to come home,” says Green.
Ruby Phillips, a nurse, got the call Sunday letting her know she would be off on Christmas after working 19 straight days in a COVID-19 crisis unit at a Texas hospital.
“It’s like the biggest Christmas present there could be,” says Phillips.
A welcome relief, to be home, after weeks of heartbreak and sweat.
“It would’ve been the first year I wasn’t here for Christmas,” says Phillips.
Airplanes were back in the air around 2:30 Monday afternoon.
“The FAA has a robust contingency plan for every air traffic control facility, and remains positioned to quickly address the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency,” an FAA spokesperson said.
“The agency continually monitors controller staffing and traffic demand, and remains in close contact with airports, airlines, and other stakeholders so we can prioritize our resources to meet the greatest demand.”
Flights were able to get back on schedule pretty quickly after the order was lifted.