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Takeoffs resume at Southern California airports after glitch halts flights

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Takeoffs at several Southern California airports, including Los Angeles International Airport, were halted for up to two hours on Wednesday after computer problems led a federal air traffic control facility to issue a "ground stop," officials said.

Over 30 departing flights at Los Angeles International Airport were temporarily held due to the order, and about 10 flights bound for the airport were diverted to other facilities and expected to depart for LAX within hours, airport spokeswoman Nancy Suey Castles said in an email.

The ground stop at LAX began at about 2 p.m. local time (3.00 p.m. ET), said airport spokeswoman Amanda Parsons. By 4 p.m. local time (5.00 p.m. ET), LAX announced it had been lifted.

The Federal Aviation Administration put in place a similar stop on takeoffs at John Wayne Airport in Orange County and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, but those stops were later lifted as well, according to statements on the Southern California facilities' Twitter pages.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency's Los Angeles Center air traffic control facility experienced "technical issues" and temporarily stopped accepting additional flights into the airspace managed by the center.

"Some flights were diverted and the agency issued a nationwide ground stop for flights heading into the airspace managed by the center," Gregor said in a statement. He could not be reached for further comment.

Bob Hope Airport said in a Twitter post that the ground stop had been issued due to computer problems with the FAA's system, and Parsons also said she believed the halt on takeoffs was related to a computer problem.

It was not immediately clear how many airports the Los Angeles FAA center plays a role in operating.

The Los Angeles International Airport last year served nearly 67 million passengers.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Gregory Roumeliotis; Editing by Ken Wills)

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