Aircraft parked at a smoky Chilliwack Airport Tuesday morning as wildfire smoke continues to limit visibility. General aviation traffic is down by about 80 per cent due to the conditions, which make minimum visibility guidelines hard to meet.

General aviation traffic down to a trickle at Chilliwack Airport

Minimum visibility guidelines can’t be met when conditions are so smoky you can’t see the mountains

The prolonged air quality issue from wildfire smoke has reduced general aviation traffic at the Chilliwack Airport by about 80 per cent.

Private aircraft travelling up and down the Fraser Valley has diminished “to a trickle” this week, according to airport GM Garry Atkins.

He was looking out his office window Tuesday at an empty runway, and mountains obscured almost completely in the haze.

“Whereas we’d normally see about 30 aircraft or more per day coming in, yesterday we saw only five aircraft,” Atkins said.

The smoky skies, prompting ongoing air quality advisories across B.C. due to hundreds of wildfires, have reduced the number of planes in the air because of the minimum visibility requirements under the visual flight rules for flying private planes.

“It’s a safety concern. If they don’t have visibility, they are basically grounded,” Atkins said.

READ MORE: Wildfire smoke settles in

It is also affecting local aviation industry based out of the Chilliwack Airport.

“If aircraft can’t arrive to be serviced by the local aviation businesses as normal, they will certainly begin to feel the effects, especially if this is maintained long-term,” Atkins said. “Of course, we’d all just like this smoke to go away.”

READ MORE: Smoke dangerous for old/young

All of the airport staff are sensitive to the devastating impact the out-of-control wildfires have had.

”We’re very concerned and thinking about the people all over the province who have to go through this now, as well as facing potentially great losses after it all.”


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

This is the view from the Chilliwack Airport offices this week, where general aviation traffic is down by about 80 per cent due to the smoky skies. The smoke makes minimum visibility guidelines hard to meet. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Nanaimo Clippers goalie steals a win from Chilliwack Chiefs

Landon Pavlisin was outstanding in the Clipper net, leading Nanaimo to a 2-1 road victory.

New Chilliwack YMCA was ‘worth the wait’ say visitors

Family Day will mark officially opening for new building, after sneak peek tours on Saturday

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Prominent Chilliwack realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Robert Meissner’s trial for accessing and possessing child pornography

Q&A with federal Liberal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Francois-Philippe Champagne visited the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 123

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Stabbing at Lower Mainland banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read