Kelowna International Airport. —Image: Capital News file

Kelowna International Airport. —Image: Capital News file

Despite heavy smoke, flights still getting into and out of Kelowna’s airport

But flying public still advised to check status of flights on airport’s website before going to YLW

Despite the heavy smoke choking people on the ground in the Central Okanagan, operations at Kelowna International Airport were running as usual Friday afternoon.

Visibility at YLW was 1.5 miles, more than enough for planes to take off and land, said Jessica Hewitt, spokeswoman for the airport.

But she said conditions change quickly, so anyone planning to catch a flight out of Kelowna should check the status of their flight on the airport’s website at ylw.kelowna.ca.

Last weekend, many flights in and out of Kelowna were cancelled because of the heavy smoke billowing into the valley from forest fires throughout the province.

Related: Flights from Kelowna International Airport affected by wildfire smoke

On the weekend, visibility at the airport was down to less than half a mile at times, too little to safely land and take off, said YLW operations manager Sean Parker.

He said a few flights did make it in and out, however. There were WestJet planes that use a different type of navigation equipment than most of the other that fly into and out of Kelowna.

Earlier this week some planes were delayed getting to Kelowna because of smoke problems at the airports where they flew from. Since then, however, while the smoke has not appeared to have let up much downtown and in city neighbourhoods, at the airport flights in and out have generally been able to arrive and depart on time because of the improved visibility.

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