Kamloops airport has busy July, but not with passengers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops airport has busy July, but not with passengers

August 18, 2017 - 11:41 AM

KAMLOOPS - The slow year for travelers going through the Kamloops airport continued in July thanks to thick wildfire smoke that grounded several flights.

YKA saw just 23,056 travelers last month compared to 25,251 in July 2016, a 9.5 per cent drop, according to a media release. Year to date the airport is down 2.7 per cent to 184,307 compared to 189,332 at this point last year.

Despite the smoke, the airport saw a large increase in aircraft following Visual Flight Rules or VFR which means the pilot is responsible for seeing and avoiding any danger, the release states. Just over 4,000 VFR flights were recorded in July compared to just 1,821 the year before, a 220 per cent increase. This was a result of the massive increase in aircraft related to wildfire control.

"This has been a challenging month for air travel at Kamloops," airport manager Fred Legace says in the release. "It is hoped that with a change in weather patterns, interruptions to travel plans will be minimized in the coming one to two months."

After May of this year saw the first increase in traffic at the airport in 11 months, June and July have both seen the numbers take a dip.

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