Low visibility causing flight delays and cancellations at Kelowna International Airport

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By SHELBY THOM GLOBAL NEWS – January 6, 2020

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The snowstorm rolling across B.C.’s southern interior is causing headaches for travellers at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) as low visibility causes flight delays and cancellations.

Airport manager Sam Samaddar says six flights were cancelled Monday morning; three arrivals and three departures to/from Vancouver and Seattle.

The flight schedule board at YLW is also peppered with red “delayed” markings as passengers wait an extra hour, in some cases, to catch their flights.

A partial view of the arrivals schedule for YLW on Monday
 A partial view of the arrivals schedule for YLW on Monday Kelowna International Airport

“It’s certainly been a challenging day so far, we’ve had some low visibility conditions below our minimum,” Samaddar said.

“My suggestion is, go the airport’s website and check the arrivals/departures information and we are showing the delays and/or cancellations as they are occurring,” he said.

A partial view of the departures schedule for YLW on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020
 A partial view of the departures schedule for YLW on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 Kelowna International Airport

Sammadar said extra airport staff were scheduled to respond to the significant snow event.

“The teams are doing a fabulous job in terms of the snow clearing. We haven’t had any issues in terms of maintaining the runway, that hasn’t been an issue at all,” he said.

The airport is advising travellers to visit YLW’s website for updated flight information, and to allow extra time for getting to the airport, checking in and going through security.

Atleast one Air Canada flight from Vancouver-Penticton was also cancelled on Monday.

Snowfall and winter storm warnings are in effect for the central and north Okanagan, Similkameen, Boundary, West Kootenay and Arrow Lakes regions.

Two pacific warm fronts are expected to bring 15-25 centimetres of snow to the Okanagan, but will shift to rain on Tuesday as warmer air moves into the region, according to Environment Canada.

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