Flights at Kelowna International Airport halted by White Rock wildfire

Flights halted by wildfire

UPDATE: 5:34 p.m.

The majority of flights in and out of Kelowna International Airport have been cancelled due to the White Rock Lake Fire northwest of the airport.

"The instruments approaches in and out of the airport go through the area where the fire is and because the fire has grown to the east it is now impacting the ability for aircraft to depart and arrive using their instruments," said senior manager of airport operations Phillip Elchitz.

"That area is a no-fly zone up to 10,000 feet,' Elchitz added.

At this time Elchitz says it is unknown how long flights will be impacted.

'We are working with NAV Canada, Transport Canada and the Fire Operations Aviation Desk on an interim solution."

MedEvacs are still able to arrive and depart under special operating rules

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.

It looks like all flights in and out of YLW have either been cancelled or delayed, according to the airport website.

That includes incoming flights from Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver and Saskatoon and outbound flights to Edmonton, Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

ORIGINAL 4:25 p.m.

The wildfire smoke is impacting some people’s travel plans to end the BC Day long weekend.

Someone called Castanet to report a friend’s outbound flight from Kelowna International Airport was delayed Sunday afternoon because of the conditions.

Phillip Elchitz, Senior Manager - Airport Operations, confirmed in an email that smoke is affecting operations at YLW.

Late last week, some flights destined for Kamloops and Penticton were diverted to Kelowna because of thick wildfire smoke.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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