Icy runways cause delays at SLC airport

Posted at 10:13 AM, Jan 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-25 10:52:57-05

SALT LAKE CITY – The freezing rain canceled flights and stranded passengers at Salt Lake International Airport.

A commercial jet slid on a taxiway Thursday bringing operations to the a halt. It happened at around 10 a.m. when Frontier flight 579 from Denver hit a patch of ice and slid.

“There is no reports of damage, there are no reports of injuries,” says Salt Lake International Airport Spokesperson Barbara Gann. “It was similar to what happens in a car on a highway. You just hit some ice and slide.”

It was enough to prompt airport managers to shut down all three runways while crews went to work de-icing. Gann says they’re prepared for extreme winter weather, but the freezing ran came on fast.

“At a certain level the conditions deteriorate and it’s not safe,” says Gann.

The closure delayed and cancelled dozens of flights, leaving passengers stranded for hours.

“It was an interesting ride up here," says passenger Larae Weilson. "we saw a lot of cars sliding and I think everyone in the van thought they’d miss their flight, but they hadn’t because the runways were closed. “

The airport re-opened all three runways by around 5 p.m.

Viewer photos freezing rain and ice