The Comox Valley Airport saw an increase of 5.1 per cent for the 2016 calendar year. Some flights have been delayed or cancelled in and out of Comox Airport due to winter weather. Black Press file photo

Snowstorms playing havoc with Island airports

Travellers flying out of Comox Airport may have a little bit more luck than their counterparts in the south Island, but winter weather is making its presence known on air travel.

Fred Bigelow, CEO of YQQ said because the airport uses instrument approaches for both of their runways, there is a little bit more flexibility than the Nanaimo Airport, which has faced numerous cancelled flights.

Both WestJet and Air Canada have cancelled flights out of Nanaimo as a result of weather conditions across the country. All flights scheduled to arrive at the airport after 3 p.m. Monday have been cancelled.

Additionally, early Tuesday morning flights for the two airlines have also been cancelled.

RELATED: Weather conditions force multiple flight cancellations at Nanaimo Airport

In Comox, WestJet flights from Edmonton and Vancouver are delayed but are set to arrive an hour behind schedule respectively. WestJet has cancelled its 5:39 p.m. flight arriving from Calgary and its outbound 6:30 p.m. flight departing YQQ for Calgary Monday evening.

“Snow is the common denominator – it brings the visibility down much more than rain,” explained Bigelow. “There are always concerns from an airport about their ability to keep runways and taxiways clear, but the team at 19 Wing is incredible and always keeps the airport open.”

While the airport terminal is operated by the Comox Valley Airport Commission, the operation and maintenance of runways fall under the military’s jurisdiction. Because of 407 Squadron and the search and rescue operations, the airport is open 24/7, added Bigelow.

He encouraged passengers to check their airlines prior to departure or use third-party apps such as FlightAware which track flights in real time.



erin.haluschak@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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