December 30, 2017 7:51 pm
Updated: December 30, 2017 10:14 pm

Cancellations and delays at Calgary International Airport as facility struggles with de-icing

Cancellations at Calgary International Airport because of de-icing issues.

Global News

Thousands of passengers remained grounded on Saturday afternoon as the cold weather created de-icing challenges at the Calgary International Airport.

WestJet said as of Saturday afternoon, it had cancelled 41 flights out of Calgary.

“We very much regret that the travel plans of our WestJet guests flying out of YYC have been affected by these conditions. We realize how frustrating this is for our guests, especially during the holidays,” Lauren Stewart with WestJet said.

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“The bottom line is that extreme cold affects fuel machinery, vehicles, outdoor mechanical systems and equipment.”

READ MORE: City of Calgary cancels outdoor New Year’s Eve plans due to extreme weather

Stewart said everything moves more slowly and takes longer to accomplish in extreme cold and it takes longer to load and unload bags as staff need to be kept out of danger and may need indoor breaks to warm up regularly.

In addition, all airlines  are experiencing de-icing challenges at the airport, which is resulting in long lines before takeoff.

“Once again we apologize to our guests for these delays and cancellations,” Stewart said  “We are working on getting everyone on their way as safely and quickly as possible.”

An Air Canada spokesperson also expressed that their staff are working hard to get customers out safely to their destinations.

“The severe winter weather impacting provinces across Canada for over a week has affected, to some extent, all transport modes,” Isabelle Arthur said.

“Just as driving cars is challenging in such conditions, airline operations can also be impacted by on-going extreme cold weather.”

A spokesperson with the Calgary Airport Authority said Saturday crews were working to clear runways and taxiways for planes.

“Delays can occur for a variety of reasons, including weather conditions in other parts of Canada. Our Crews are working hard to ensure runways and taxiways are clear and safe for planes to arrive and take off,” Sarah Urbanowski said in a statement.

The airport authority is recommending travellers check with their airline for the most up-to-date information.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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