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Power outage frustrates passengers as Newark Liberty International Airport opens new Terminal A

New terminal opens at Newark Airport
New terminal opens at Newark Airport 02:09

NEWARK, N.J. -- A day after the Federal Aviation Administration had to temporarily ground flights due to a computer outage, Newark Liberty International Airport welcomed a new terminal.

But it didn't take off as smoothly as travelers would hope. 

One of the first planes to fly into Newark Airport's new Terminal A  gave visitors a glistening glimpse of New Jersey, but the true test is what those from Jersey think. 

"My experience has been great," said Columbus resident John Heller. 

"Very high tech. I was reading online before we came. It's all about New Jersey, which is pretty cool," said Kim Lester of Dunellen. 

Everywhere you turn, there's Jersey flair - from the artwork, to some of the concessions. 

"There are six local-based businesses from the City of Elizabeth and the City of Newark. These are individuals just starting up businesses right on the 50 yard line," said Huntley Lawrence, COO of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 

"We have an opportunity to provide jobs for our residents, economic opportunity for our community," said Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage. 

The $2.7 billion Terminal A replaces the old one, which opened in 1973. It has 33 gates to handle larger aircraft, and contactless amenities throughout, like some check-in counters. 

Everything seemed to be running smoothly Thursday afternoon, but the day didn't get off to a great start. 

"It's absolutely a nightmare," said Paterson resident Abby Hatch. 

Hatch ended up going back home instead of the Bahamas because she says issues at Newark Airport would have caused her to miss her connecting flight. 

"TSA went down a number of times, alarms been going off in this building. The communication over the intercom, you cannot hear when they make announcements. Total, total chaos," Hatch said. "We changed gates at least five times, only to find out now that the flight that eventually is leaving, as a result, we would have missed our connecting flight."

Officials said a power outage knocked out half of the security checkpoints during the morning rush, and there were two issues with people at check-in.

"We'll work out the kinks, but stepping back, this is a magnificent facility. It's going to serve a much larger audience. We're thrilled to be here, and I hope people can overlook the one or two problems we had," said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole. 

All involved are hoping it's a smooth ride from here. 

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