The response to Tuesday’s plane in distress seemed to come all without a hitch.
A WestJet plane was diverted to Prince George because of potential problems with the nose landing gear.
In an unusual step, RCMP blocked traffic along roads leading to the airport including Highway 16 East, the Old Caribou Highway and Johnson Road. Corporal Craig Douglass with the Prince George RCMP says “In this particular situation, a lot of roads around the airport of course are either on the flight path or within close proximity to the flight path. If something were to go wrong, it could end up putting more people in harms way.”
The Prince George Fire Department and the Pineview Volunteer Fire department answered the call. Pineview sent 3 fire trucks and 5 firefighters.
“We responded to Gate 5, which is the one on Johnson Road, ” says Fire Chief of the Pineview Fire Department, Lyle Wood. “We waited for the aircraft to come in, it did a couple flybys so we could make sure the landing gear was down, then on it’s third it touched down and all was good.”
With 40 passengers on the WestJest flight, the BC Ambulance Service mobilized with resources in the city and surrounding communities. “We had 8 units on standby at the airport, plus a number of units in the city waiting to go,” says Unit Chief, Wayne Standen. “We also notified our provincial air programs to expect delay at the airport here, as well as have aircraft on standby in case we got a number of patients.”
Flight 3015 landed without incident just before noon. Officials were pleased Emergency crews had nearly an hour to prepare for the situation.
Following a debrief this morning, the Director of Operations at the Prince George Airport Authority, Cuyler Green, says it was an “amazing response”. He adds the Airport is always looking at ways to improve.