Vancouver International Airport is fully operational, but dozens of flights leaving the airport have been delayed due to weather conditions.
Dozens of flights were delayed throughout the afternoon, and at least 30 flights departing after 6 pm this evening were listed as delayed. Most of the delays were on local flights using smaller planes on routes serving destinations within British Columbia or Seattle. As well, four flights to Calgary, Victoria, Cranbrook, and Seattle were cancelled.
Airport officials say flight delays are due to weather conditions at destinations and YVR’s use of the crosswind runway, which runs along a northwest to southeast axis to the west of the terminal building and intersects with the main south runway.
The crosswind runway is rarely used, but when activated when wind conditions are harsh it is primarily used by small planes. According to Environment Canada, winds reached 73 km/hr at Sea Island by mid-afternoon.
However, when the crosswind runway is operational it reduces the capacity of the south runway, which is the busiest runway at the airport as it is used for both arrivals and departures. The airport’s other main runway, the north runway, is primarily used for landings.
“We are experiencing some flight delays at YVR as we utilize the crosswind runway,” reads a notice by Vancouver Airport Authority. “We appreciate your patience and apologize for any delays due to weather.”
Conditions are expected to deteriorate beginning Saturday evening through Sunday with the arrival of a typhoon remnant-enhanced storm.
“Passengers are advised to check with their airline before heading out to the airport for flights this evening and throughout the weekend.”
Local flights between Vancouver and Victoria operated by Harbour Air using seaplanes were canceled throughout the day due to the wind.
A number of BC Ferries sailings, including sailings on the major Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route using the fleet’s largest vessels, were delayed for up to two hours.