Flights from Denver and San Francisco to Pasco were canceled two nights and two mornings in a row, stranding some travelers after a weather system at the Tri-Cities Airport broke down.
The Tri-Cities Airport's airport surface observation system lost a component Thursday around 9 p.m., said Ron Foraker, airport director.
The electronic system provides weather information for aircraft, and there wasn't enough time to fix it that night, he said.
So SkyWest Airlines, which operates the San Francisco to Pasco and Denver to Pasco flights for United Airlines under the name United Express, canceled the Denver and San Francisco flights arriving in Pasco after 10 p.m., when the airport's tower is no longer manned.
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None of the other airlines canceled flights because of the weather system, he said.
On Friday morning, technicians from the National Weather Service in Pendleton were able to repair the system, Foraker said. The system was working Friday night, he said.
However, the Friday late night flights still were canceled.
Marissa Snow, spokeswoman for SkyWest Airlines, said the equipment was partially functioning Friday night. She said she isn't sure where the disconnect is.
The morning flights from Pasco to Denver and San Francisco also were canceled Friday and Saturday mornings because the aircraft could not get in the previous night, Snow said.
It's a huge impact, Foraker said. With the two flights canceled, that's up to 120 people who can't get in to Pasco and another 120 who can't leave the next morning for Portland or Denver.
She said they are working to accommodate passengers on the next available flight.
As of Saturday afternoon she said they were planning to operate all flights in and out of Pasco as long as the equipment is working.
Skywest Airlines operates three flights a day between Pasco and Denver and two flights a day between Pasco and San Francisco.