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Kelowna  

Balloon lands at airport

Spectacular video shot by Kelowna Coun. Ryan Donn appears to show a hot air balloon interfering with air traffic at Kelowna International Airport Wednesday morning.

The balloon seems to be in very close proximity to the path of a WestJet aircraft as it takes off.

But, while the entire scene may seem dangerous, it was anything but, according to airport manager Sam Samaddar.

"The hot air balloon is an aircraft, and it was in communication with air traffic control," said Samaddar. "It has a transponder, so it can transit through the airspace."

He says the balloon operator would also have been in communication with aircraft in the area.

Samaddar says there is a protocol with what is called airmanship, which is based on the manoeuvrability of a particular aircraft.

"There is a precedence set in terms of order of priority. In this case, because the balloon is less manoeuvrable, it has a higher level of order of priority."

The hot air balloon landed safely in an area adjacent to the KF Aerospace hangar, away from the runway.



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