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

Opioid overdoses killing three people a month in Chilliwack

35 deaths in 2018 locally compare to 23 in 2017, 13 in 2016 up from about five per year before that

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

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Outdoor rink, lagoon improvements on the agenda for Harrison

The projects are intended to increase tourism numbers and infrastructure in the resort village

Chilliwack parent urges fellow dog owners to keep Fido off school grounds

Risks of harmful encounters between kids on and dogs are too high, says Chilliwack mom

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

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

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

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

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

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Most Read