Foggy bottom: Passengers tell their stories as construction at airp...

The sentiment is shared by hundreds of local passengers who have experienced firsthand the nearly 75 percent of delayed or canceled flights out of the Arcata-Eureka Airport in the past month. Full Story
Save the Humans

Danville, CA

#23 Sep 13, 2010
I fail to see how it is fair to divert to Redding! It is almost just as far as SFO!! You have got to be kidding me!
Ivan the Terrible

Eureka, CA

#24 Sep 13, 2010
World Goer wrote:
I've been stuck in Tanzania for 4 days because the one plane in the fleet had an electrical fire and they needed to "fix" it before we left. Since the flight could take off at anytime we literally slept in the airport for the last 2 days. The flight to Kenya was so scary I thought I was going to die. Sorry, but getting stuck in ACV, RED or SFO is not that big a deal.
My flight was diverted last week after a long trip to South America and all you can do is roll with it. I watched people freak out on United staff, acting like 12 year olds throwing a temper tantrum. This behavior is inexcusable regardless of how inconvenienced you are. The ticket counter people are not to blame and it is reprehensible to curse and yell at them as if they were your punching bag.
I've been in and out of Arcata for 15 years and it is always a crapshoot. Horizon can land in foggier conditions, however United would not be able to land here regardless because their planes are not equipped with the proper gear for low-visibility landings. Part of the expansion project is to allow larger planes which are properly equipped to deal with our weather to land.
Thanks for comparing Humboldt County to a dirt airport in a third world country. How fitting.
eurekite

New York, NY

#25 Sep 13, 2010
ACV is a great airport that is clearly being mismanaged.

I'm guessing that whomever "planned" this construction project failed to properly do so and forgot to check in on how it would impact the ILS system. By the time they discovered this, construction was underway.

If they actually planned to run the foggiest airport in the lower-48 without fog instrumentation this is even worse.

Clean house. This isn't the first mess we've seen out of ACV management and it's an enormously important part of the area. The people currently in charge are entirely replaceable.
Frequent Flyer

Fairfield, CA

#26 Sep 13, 2010
This is not a new problem. I have been stuck driving to SF or from SF 50% of the time for years. Of course, they do not offer any refunds or help due to fog cancellations. I have started to fly Horizon out of Santa Rosa. 3.5 hour drive and a small airport is great considering the other options.
Kram

United States

#27 Sep 13, 2010
I fly between a dozen and two dozen times per year. My success rate into/out of ACV in the last five years has been only about 30%, meaning fully 70% of my flights are cancelled or delayed by more than 3 hours. Sometimes it is the weather, sometimes it is equipment issues. Many times the delays force an overnight stay, since seats on subsequent flights are often booked by other stranded passengers. I'm well aware of the one-way rental car from Sacramento or San Francisco to get home; I've had to do it twice in the last month!

The airport is an embarrassment to the area. No one can afford to wager on its unpredictability when it comes to business. The fact it often takes two days simply to get to the other part of the country makes this place ridiculously inaccessible. But of course, that is the way most people like it here.
Kram

United States

#28 Sep 13, 2010
Oh, and to add, because of the numerous cancellations I have had, I will not book vacations out of ACV. Far better to swallow your pride and drive to Sac or SJ or Oakland or SF. At least you'll get far cheaper fares and you are much less likely to have your travel plans derailed.
Margaret Thorpe

United States

#29 Sep 13, 2010
What I do not understand is why the ILS can't be functional while the airport construction is going on?
Mark Lovelace

Eureka, CA

#30 Sep 13, 2010
The ILS cannot be simply turned on or off at will. The work being done has the potential not just to interrupt the ILS, but to affect its accuracy. That is why the FAA required it to be shut down until construction is finished. As you can imagine, any system that is to be relied upon to allow pilots to make their approach blind had better be accurate!

The FAA will have to fly a test approach with a specially-equipped plane to test the accuracy of the system before they will allow it to be used again for commercial flights. This simply canít be done on a minute-to-minute or even a day-to-day basis.
annoyed

Redway, CA

#31 Sep 13, 2010
my flight was canceled this past weekend. i live in sohum and thankfully signed up to get text messages regarding flight statuses. right before i left i had gotten a text that said flight canceled. i was en route to my best friends wedding on the east coast---which i will not be there for now. my ticket was booked in advance, and my biggest annoyance is that when i booked my flight there was no "notice" that popped up telling me that there was such a high percentage of delayed or canceled flights. i didn't even know there were any issues until i noticed some of the news article in the journal the day before.

i could and would of made other arrangements... my question is--- WHY wasn't this made MORE PUBLIC that there would be cancellations and delays?
Ex-Arcatan

Concord, CA

#32 Sep 13, 2010
Good point, annoyed. This is the first I've read of it in the paper, and it's been down for two to three weeks. And, it's scheduled to be down for another two weeks. I am under the assumption that Skywest planes cannot land without ILS unless there is 600 feet or more of clear ceiling. Apparently this was not happening today as 6 of 7 Skywest (United Express) flights to SFO were canceled. Don't blame Skywest, either.

At least the people in charge realized their error in lack of communication. The time lapse is, however, inexcusable. Good luck to those who need to get in or out... do what I do when I visit... Drive.

the Ex
Behind the 8 ball

Saint Albans, WV

#33 Sep 13, 2010
Thank GOD for delays and inconveniences, as if we didn't have them, MORE PEOPLE would move HERE! That is why it is part of the Lost Coast, or "Behind the Redwood Curtain"

The lack of "Progress" is fine with me! When I travel by aircraft I drive to Medford or Sacramento to save the cost of the trip if one flew directly from here. Enjoy the beauty of inconvenience!
truthindeed

Eugene, OR

#34 Sep 13, 2010
Zuzka Sabata? With a name like that she reallyhas no reason to complain about anything.
Arcata has always had delays, cancellations and late flights. it goes with living next to the foggy Pacific.
And it is intersting that those that are complaining seem to understand the inconsistancy in weather as they stated they fly many times and always have problems.
So why fly out of Arcata?
Perhaps it would be better for everyone if the Arcata airport shut doen. Sure, that would solve the problems. To a point, then these very people would be screaming because there is no air service.
Zuzka Sabata?
Frustrated

Eureka, CA

#35 Sep 13, 2010
Out of 42 flights today, only 2 were on time and only a total of 5 even arrived at any time during the day. Check out the stats ( http://www.ifly.com/arcata-airport/ACV-airpor... ) and you'll see how bad the situation really is. I think everyone should contact the SF examiner and the FAA and insist that the airport management be replaced. Remember this is the same administrator responsible for the death of several people when a small plane went down off Trinidad by erroneously claiming that the plane had landed safely thereby preventing a timely rescue effort. We all have every right to be enraged- there is no excuse for this kind of incompetence!!! And it is costing our county dearly in economic terms as well as creating havoc with all of us citizens who dont seem to count. Closing the airport completely over the fourth of July- business weekend in the summer- is another example.
lovelace who

Whitethorn, CA

#36 Sep 13, 2010
what are you the new spokesman for the airport ?We don't care about your misinformation . I have been flying for business for years and I eat tickets all the time due to the service at the air port
Loretta N

United States

#37 Sep 14, 2010
Mark Lovelace wrote:
I absolutely agree that we could be doing more to inform the public about the potential for delays or cancellations, and about their available travel options. I have been working on this issue over the weekend, along with our Airport Manager and the Director of Public Works, and I believe that you will be seeing an increase in the flow of information starting Monday. However, I do need to correct a couple of statements in the article above.
The statement that 75% of flights have been cancelled or delayed is erroneous. Of 481 flights scheduled, 73 have been cancelled, and of those only 55 were due to the ILS shutdown. This equates to roughly 11%.
The ILS cannot be simply turned on or off at will. The work being done has the potential not just to interrupt the ILS, but to affect its accuracy. That is why the FAA required it to be shut down until construction is finished. As you can imagine, any system that is to be relied upon to allow pilots to make their approach blind had better be accurate!
The FAA will have to fly a test approach with a specially-equipped plane to test the accuracy of the system before they will allow it to be used again for commercial flights. This simply canít be done on a minute-to-minute or even a day-to-day basis.
I apologize to anyone whose flight has been delayed, cancelled or redirected as a result of this project. I promise you that we are looking at every option available to us, but the main issue here is to get through this project and get everything up and running again as soon as possible.
Mark
Thank you Mark :)
Anon Y Mous

Petaluma, CA

#38 Sep 14, 2010
Mark Lovelace wrote:
I absolutely agree that we could be doing more to inform the public about the potential for delays or cancellations, and about their available travel options. I have been working on this issue over the weekend, along with our Airport Manager and the Director of Public Works, and I believe that you will be seeing an increase in the flow of information starting Monday. However, I do need to correct a couple of statements in the article above.
The statement that 75% of flights have been cancelled or delayed is erroneous. Of 481 flights scheduled, 73 have been cancelled, and of those only 55 were due to the ILS shutdown. This equates to roughly 11%.
The ILS cannot be simply turned on or off at will. The work being done has the potential not just to interrupt the ILS, but to affect its accuracy. That is why the FAA required it to be shut down until construction is finished. As you can imagine, any system that is to be relied upon to allow pilots to make their approach blind had better be accurate!
The FAA will have to fly a test approach with a specially-equipped plane to test the accuracy of the system before they will allow it to be used again for commercial flights. This simply canít be done on a minute-to-minute or even a day-to-day basis.
I apologize to anyone whose flight has been delayed, cancelled or redirected as a result of this project. I promise you that we are looking at every option available to us, but the main issue here is to get through this project and get everything up and running again as soon as possible.
Mark
Was there public notice on the out of service (OTS) of the RW32 approach lights taken out of service. According to this forum in previous T-S coverage, the EMB-120 pilots stated this would greatly increase the required ceiling to get permission from Seattle Center to make the approach under the rules. You can explore the archives of the Aviation Advisory Committee and you will find that the Director of PW did not attend until Aviation blew up in his face. As another example, the bond money for the Parks we were told had to be used this year or it would be lost. We have been waiting eight years for the bathroom upgrades and hot showers at A>W> Way. Someone needs to remind the Director that he serves at the pleasure of the Board. You clearly are not being told the whole story. JH is rude beyond belief. I thought that was a firing offense.
Anon Y Mous

Petaluma, CA

#39 Sep 14, 2010
Frustrated wrote:
Out of 42 flights today, only 2 were on time and only a total of 5 even arrived at any time during the day. Check out the stats ( http://www.ifly.com/arcata-airport/ACV-airpor... ) and you'll see how bad the situation really is. I think everyone should contact the SF examiner and the FAA and insist that the airport management be replaced. Remember this is the same administrator responsible for the death of several people when a small plane went down off Trinidad by erroneously claiming that the plane had landed safely thereby preventing a timely rescue effort. We all have every right to be enraged- there is no excuse for this kind of incompetence!!! And it is costing our county dearly in economic terms as well as creating havoc with all of us citizens who dont seem to count. Closing the airport completely over the fourth of July- business weekend in the summer- is another example.
http://www.ifly.com/arcata-airport/ACV-airpor...
This will indicate the status of arrivals and departures. Just be aware that this site lists one flight and all of its partner airlines (so Skywest/United/Continental) and (HorizonAlaska), so one flight can be listed several times.
Anon Y Mous

Petaluma, CA

#40 Sep 14, 2010
Frustrated wrote:
Out of 42 flights today, only 2 were on time and only a total of 5 even arrived at any time during the day. Check out the stats ( http://www.ifly.com/arcata-airport/ACV-airpor... ) and you'll see how bad the situation really is. I think everyone should contact the SF examiner and the FAA and insist that the airport management be replaced. Remember this is the same administrator responsible for the death of several people when a small plane went down off Trinidad by erroneously claiming that the plane had landed safely thereby preventing a timely rescue effort. We all have every right to be enraged- there is no excuse for this kind of incompetence!!! And it is costing our county dearly in economic terms as well as creating havoc with all of us citizens who dont seem to count. Closing the airport completely over the fourth of July- business weekend in the summer- is another example.
http://www.ifly.com/arcata-airport/ACV-airpor...
This will indicate the status of arrivals and departures. Just be aware that this site lists one flight and all of its partner airlines (so Skywest/United/Continental) and (HorizonAlaska), so one flight can be listed several times.
I don't think it is being made clear that the consruction time was picked not for the fog but for the dry weather.
Further, the NTSB is investigating the FAA for dropping the ball on emergency notifications. Given the clear radar the Air Force or USCG rescue command centers should have been called first, and the airport manager at home, last. 4th. of July weekend was picked by consensus. At some point this work has to be done or we close to commercial traffic.
Ex-Arcatan

Concord, CA

#41 Sep 14, 2010
So far, as of 3pm, 09/14, no flights in or out of ACV... fun, fun, fun.
Fog Surfer

Eureka, CA

#42 Sep 14, 2010
Well I woke up this morning at 4am for a flight, Horizon Airlines had emailed me that the flight was canceled. Over 50% of all flights I have taken out of here have been canceled.
Why don't they MOVE the airport to a area less foggy.
Just a thought .... but NO we spend money to improve a SUB STANDARD airport.
What a joke...

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