Flights to and from Northwest Terrace Airport have been cancelled due to plumes of volcanic ash from a volcanic eruption in Russia impacting northwest British Columbia.
Central Mountain Air has noted disruptions out of Terrace and Smithers airports, while Northwest Terrace Airport Manager Carman Hendry said they are constantly assessing the situation, but flights will likely be cancelled April 13, 14 and 15.
So far, there have not been any cancellations at the Smithers airport, however.
Hendry emphasized that Environment Canada needs to confirm that it is safe to fly before they can resume flying. It is dangerous for aircraft to fly in volcanic ash, as particles can get into the engines and cause disruptions.
An Environment Canada spokesperson said volcanic ash, which is aloft in the sky and not a threat to residents at the surface, will linger for the next six to eight hours in Terrace and Smithers, but it should get less concentrated.
The impact of the eruption is not just limited to the airline industry, but also to the local economy. Terrace is a major transportation hub for the northwest region of British Columbia, and this disruption will likely have an impact on businesses and industries that rely on air transportation.
Passengers who have been affected by the cancellations are advised to contact their airlines for further information and to make alternative travel arrangements.
The eruption on the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula on Tuesday has caused volcanic ash to spread across the Pacific, affecting air travel across the region. Airlines are constantly monitoring the situation and are taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of their passengers and crews, they said.
As of publication time, the following flights to and from Terrace were cancelled:
- Air Canada (AC8441) to Vancouver at 14:46
- Air Canada (AC7771) to Calgary at 15:19
- WestJet (WJA3435) to Calgary at 17:05
- WestJet (WJA3107) to Vancouver at 18:24
- Air Canada (AC8444) to Vancouver at 15:25
- Air Canada (AC7772) to Calgary at 16:05
- WestJet (WJA3438) to Calgary at 17:35
- WestJet (WJA3108) to Vancouver at 18:55
A Terrace Standard reporter is en route to the airport. More to come.
-With files from Deb Meissner