At least two-day flight delays expected in light of New York terrorist attack | SteamboatToday.com

At least two-day flight delays expected in light of New York terrorist attack

Airport director expecting instructions from FAA

— Airline passengers hoping to fly in and out of Yampa Valley Regional Airport near Hayden this week definitely should not book a flight for Wednesday and probably not even for Thursday.

A spokeswoman for Air Wisconsin commuter airline confirmed at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday that all flights into and out of YVRA had been canceled.

“We are advising people not to book a flight for at least two days,” passenger service agent Vicki Marsden said. “Thursday might be stretching it. The ticket office (at the airport) will be open 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. to assist passengers or sell tickets. But people seeking to change flights should contact their travel agent or the airline directly.”

Air Wisconsin itself is not actually operating commercial flights at the airport near Hayden this summer. However the company is contracting ground services for Great Lakes Aviation.

Marsden said she received her information from Air Wisconsin headquarters in Appleton, Wis.

Airport Manager Jim Parker had not been contacted directly by the Federal Aviation Administration as of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, and had not received direct instructions to close the airport in the wake of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

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“I would have expected something by now,” Parker said.

Parker confirmed the first Great Lakes Aviation turboprop flight of the day Tuesday took off from Yampa Valley Regional Airport near Hayden. The plane’s departure was on time at 7:25 a.m. The flight did not return to the airport near Hayden, leading Parker to conclude the flight had not been diverted and had landed at Denver International Airport.

However, Parker was not expecting the first arrival of the day to come in at 10:13 a.m. No commercial aircraft were on the tarmac at YVRA Tuesday morning. That flight was in fact, canceled.

Parker said the normal complement of two contract security screeners were working at the airport on Tuesday. Those workers are not law enforcement officers.

YVRA is classified as a “Category 4” airport by the FAA, Parker said, which means law enforcement officers must be able to respond to the terminal within 15 minutes.

Parker theorized that one response by the FAA might be to direct him to arrange for armed, non-uniformed officers to be on hand at the airport at some point.

Marsden said people were moping around the local airport at mid-morning on Tuesday. Only two passengers arrived to board the scheduled 10:30 a.m. return flight to DIA.