Lengthy flight delays at Kelowna International Airport - InfoNews

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Lengthy flight delays at Kelowna International Airport

Image Credit: WestJet
January 09, 2017 - 12:10 PM

KELOWNA - The de-icing equipment at the Kelowna airport broke down yesterday and that caused flight delays.

“Due to mechanical issues with de-icing equipment, the airlines were unable to de-ice the aircraft,” airport director Sam Samaddar says.

In total, six incoming and outbound flights were delayed, while one flight heading to Vancouver was cancelled. The airlines affected were West Jet and Air Canada.

Incoming flights were put on hold since multiple departing planes were unable to leave their gates, leaving no free space for arriving aircrafts, Samaddar says.

An aircraft has to be off the ground within 20 minutes of de-icing, he says. Unfortunately for passengers this means boarding has to take place before the de-icing process can occur, which is why people on an Edmonton bound flight had to sit on the plane for three and a half hours.

The de-icing equipment is not run by the airport, but rather owned and operated by the airlines.

“When you’re dealing with winter conditions, you do have mechanical break downs, but the snow and ice removal crews on the ground are doing a phenomenal job,” Samaddar says.

The de-icing equipment was up and running this morning.

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