Snow affecting flights at YLW

There have already been 15 cancelled flights and many delays, and more are expected

It’s not just traffic on Central Okanagan roads that is being hampered by the snow. Air travel is also being impacted.

As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, a total of 15 flights—both arrivals and departures—have been cancelled at Kelowna’s airport, according to the airport’s director.

Sam Samaddar said with visibility at just one-quarter mile, about half what is needed at YLW, and vertical visibility at just 900 feet, he expects there will be many more cancellations as the evening wears on.

“My crews are doing a heck of a job keeping the runway clear,” said Samaddar. “But it’s been challenging day.”

Some of the flights cancelled included an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle scheduled to arrive in Kelowna at 3:03 p.m. and a Pacific Coastal flight from Cranbrook scheduled to arrive at 3:25 p.m.

A 2 p.m. flight leaving Kelowna for Edmonton was also cancelled and several others were delayed.

“If the conditions persist, I would think a number of the flights that are holding will be cancelled,” said Samaddar.

He said safety is paramount at the airport and given that Thursday’s heavy snowfall was not in the forecast, it has taken a big effort to stay on top of it.

Passengers are advised to check with their airlines for information about their flights and check the airport’s arrivals and departures information at the airport’s website.

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