October 17, 2019

Early Snowstorms Wreak Havoc at Airports


An unseasonably early snowstorm caused a WestJet 737 to get stuck at Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport (CYWG) late last week. The Boeing aircraft, while making its way to the terminal after landing, found itself on the wrong side of the taxiway edge, where the aircraft came to a stop.

According to the Winnipeg Airports Authority, city busses were called in to transport the passengers to the airport terminal.

“I think the crew is very lucky that people were very mature and remained very calm, because I think things could’ve gone south very quickly,” passenger Emily Meadows told Global News, who also said it took nearly two hours until all passengers were evacuated.

Several departures and arrivals were cancelled until the airport was able to dig itself out of the mess.

Meanwhile, further east, flights at Thunder Bay airport (CYQT) were disrupted on the afternoon of October 3 when an accumulation of snow atop a radar site located just north of the airport caused the radar system to go offline. Service wasn’t restored until the following morning.

“There was a snow accumulation on the dome of the radar unit, and it took until the next morning for a crew to clear it away,” according to Nav Canada spokesperson Brian Boudreau. “The radar unit is remote, and in the dark it’s not safe for workers to clear the snow. They waited ’til daylight to do so.”

Top photo by Andrew Melnuk