The morning skies around Kamloops aren’t expected to clear for the rest of the week, which means more flight delays could be in the cards at Fulton Field.
“This will drive us crazy in the morning,” said airport manager Fred Legace.
Legace said the low cloud, which hovered at 91-metres for part of the day Tuesday and most of Wednesday, is forecast to stick around until at least Friday.
A couple of flights a day in and out of Kamloops Airport were delayed Tuesday and Wednesday. Legace said early morning flights haven’t been affected, nor those scheduled in the afternoon when the cloud burns off.
“The first Air Canada and WestJet flights get out. It’s the ones after 7:30 in the morning until one or two in the afternoon,” he said.
The problem isn’t just in Kamloops. Legace said travel advisories were issued all over the province Wednesday and flights delayed, including at Vancouver and Victoria international airports.
“It’s not just people; it’s cargo as well,” he said.
A new navigation system was installed at Kamloops Airport a couple of years ago, but the cloud is too low for it to be effective, said Legace.
When an aircraft’s altimeter hits 146 metres the pilot is instructed to look out the window and get a visual fix of the airport, he said. If the pilot can’t, he or she is required to pull up.
“Can I see approach lighting, can I see landing lights, and can I see runway lighting? Can I see anything,” the pilot is required to ask.
The bad news for Legace is the forecast remains about the same until Sunday, when a cold front rolls into the region and pushes the cloud out.
Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said there’s a chance of burn-off this afternoon and again Friday and Saturday. Although gloomy in the valley, clear skies should persist in Upper Sahali and Aberdeen regardless.
“It could be that other parts of the city are seeing sun,” he said.
By Sunday cooler, drier weather will bring frost in the morning and daytime highs of a seasonal 9 C — and clear skies, said Lundquist.
Legace said the change can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, he asked travellers to plan ahead.
“If you need to be somewhere in the morning, travel the night before,” he said.