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Snow causes dozens of cancelled flights at YVR

Airport is mobilizing 80 pieces of snow-removal equipment
An Air Canada plane gets deiced at Vancouver International Airport | Vancouver Airport Authority

Airlines combined to cancel dozens of flights at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) today as snow started falling this morning and sticking to the ground this afternoon. 

WestJet, Air Canada, Pacific Coastal Airlines and Delta Air Lines all cancelled flights with many if not all related to weather. 

Most of the cancelled flights were to locations within B.C., such as Victoria, Prince George, Comox and Kelowna, while others were to other Canadian centres such as Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. Air Canada and Delta Air Lines cancelled flights to Seattle, while Air Canada cancelled one flight to Portland.

Many flights to some of those destinations were not cancelled and operated on time.  As of mid-afternoon, most flights departing YVR were listed as being on time, although many were delayed. 

YVR spokeswoman Megan Sutton told BIV that passengers should check the airport's website to confirm the status of their flights

The airport has access to up to 80 pieces of snow-removal equipment and crews are working to remove snow from runways, she said. 

It was not immediately clear how many pieces of equipment are in use or how many workers have been called in to help keep the airport's runways in working order. 

In addition to snow blowers, and trucks that can plow, and sweep snow away, the airport also has several snow-melting machines that are each equal in size to a semi-trailer and can melt the equivalent of 20 truckloads of snow each hour. 

Sutton said passengers should plan to arrive earlier than normal. The airport normally urges passengers to arrive two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before flights to the U.S. or other international destinations. 

Environment and Climate Change Canada is warning that "significant snowfall accumulations are expected."

It expects "heavy snow" this afternoon and evening, with snow transitioning to rain early Wednesday morning.

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