Thursday, January 05, 2017

Airlines cancel flights in Colorado Springs, Denver amidst winter storm

Some local travelers were in for a rude awakening Thursday morning, when several airlines axed flights from the Colorado Springs and Denver airports due to wet, wintry weather conditions.

As of about 10 a.m., 142 flights departing from the Denver International Airport had been canceled, and three cancellations had been reported at the Colorado Springs Airport, officials said.

Most of the flights leaving from Denver that were canceled were scheduled for small commuter aircraft that serve mountain towns. Many were on regional airlines, such as SkyWest and Trans States, said Heath Montgomery, a spokesman for the Denver Airport.

“The bulk of the cancellations are the aircraft that just can’t fly in these conditions,” he said. “They are not equipped for the poor visibility.”

Canceled departures from Colorado Springs included three United Airlines flights headed for Denver Thursday morning, said Nate Lavin, a spokesman for the city’s airport. All other flights were running on time at about 10 a.m.

Airlines including United, Southwest, American and Frontier have offered to waive the fee typically paid to change flights for passengers who are scheduled to depart from the Denver or Colorado Springs airports Thursday. Travelers can contact their airline directly to learn more.

At both airports, snow and ice removal operations were in full swing. The Denver Airport has more than 250 pieces of equipment—including blowers, brooms, blades, plows and runway sanders — for clearing snow from runways and another 120 units for parking lots and roadways. Winter weather conditions were expected to let up around noon, according to a tweet from the airport.

The Colorado Springs Airport’s collection includes three front-mount plows, three front-end brooms, two 4,000-gallon chemical dump trucks and four snow blowers, capable of blasting upwards of 4 tons of snow per hour. All of the equipment was on the road Thursday morning, Lavin said.  

“We have two twelve-hour teams that are working around the clock to keep our runways open,” he said.

Travelers should check the status of their flights before heading to either airport and allow for extra time to navigate icy roads. Information about cancellations and delays is available at for the Colorado Springs Airport and for the Denver Airport.

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