15% of YVR flights cancelled ahead of snowstorm

Early Saturday afternoon saw a light snowfall in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, but 15% of flights to and from Vancouver International Airport had already been canceled in anticipation of the coming storm.

YVR said in a statement that its weather models show 15 to 25 centimeters of wet, heavy snowfall on Saturday afternoon and evening, with the heaviest snowfall occurring between 7pm and midnight. said it was expected.

“In cooperation with YVR, airlines have adjusted their schedules and canceled many flights to and from YVR, especially during the evening hours,” the airport said in a statement, citing cancellations representing 15% of all flights. Added. volume of the day.

According to YVR, some airlines are delaying flights until the heaviest snowfall is expected.

“We are closely monitoring the weather and working with airlines and many partners to ensure that as many passengers and planes depart as quickly and safely as possible,” the statement said.

According to YVR, those with flights departing Vancouver on Saturday are “strongly advised” to check the airline’s website or YVR’s website for flight status information before heading to the airport.

Saturday’s pre-cancelled flights may not be the only ones affected by the storm.

The airport said, “Depending on the nighttime snowfall rate, limited visibility and extreme amounts of snowfall, even with clear runways and taxiways, may cause brief stoppages for departures or arrivals.” said. “Passengers should know that such a move is not taken lightly and is done in cooperation with airline partners and other agencies with safety as a top priority.”

The last time YVR made such a move was during a storm that wreaked havoc on travel plans just days before Christmas.

Some frustrated passengers said they were stuck on the plane with little food or drink for as long as 12 hours while waiting for gate space to be made available to disembark.

On Friday, the airport alluded to these problems, saying it had asked airlines to “ensure full towing capacity” during storms “to prevent empty aircraft from getting stuck at the gate.”

The impact of the December storms was exacerbated by heavy traffic passing through the airport during the busy holiday season. Weeks after the snow stopped, there were still hundreds of lost and unclaimed bags at the terminal, waiting to be reunited with their owners.

The impact of travel disruptions is being felt nationwide, with other Canadian airports facing similar problems. In mid-January, various airport and airline heads were called to testify before a parliamentary committee in Ottawa.

By late January, YVR began a public participation process aimed at learning from the December storm. It also hired consultants to review its response to travel disruptions.

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