Nearly 50 RDM Airport flights canceled, status a day-to-day situation
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- Many travelers flying into or out of the Redmond Municipal Airport have experienced flight cancellations or delays in recent days, due to the poor air quality conditions across the region.
Tuesday's air quality readings were still at a level considered unsafe by some airlines for employees to work outside for long periods.
Over the past four days, airlines serving RDM have canceled roughly 50 flights. Some airlines like Delta and United were checking guests for flights as normal Tuesdsay, while others like Alaska Airlines began delaying and canceling flights as early as Saturday.
Redmond resident Jeff Morrison told NewsChannel 21 he was concerned the smoke would affect their travel.
"I'm thinking this is the worst I've seen in here," Morrison said. "A couple years ago, we had some fires that were actually out towards Sisters, but it wasn't this bad."
Morrison said they arrived at the airport earlier, just in case, to prepare for any changes.
Alaska Airlines staff said they 're checking day by day on the air quality to see if conditions are safe for their staff to return to work.
Airport Manager Zachary Bass said, "It is the airlines' choice -- they are their employees. We do support making sure that everyone that works for the airport, either for ourselves or the airlines or concessions, that we are looking after the health of our people first."
Alaska Airlines resumed flights Tuesday at Portland and Seattle with new wildfire protocols.
Alaska flights out of RDM were canceled for the duration of Tuesday night, as the airport was operating a reduced schedule, canceling at least 20 afternoon and evening flights through PDX.
Officials said the new safety protocol directs employees to work a reduced number of hours outside when there’s poor air quality.
Airport officials urged travelers to contact their airline directly, or follow their flight status page for the latest information.