The federal government shutdown, coupled with fog, rain and low visibility, led to difficult travel through Traverse City's Cherry Capital Airport over the weekend.
During normal operations, aircraft can land and depart with a 200-foot ceiling and one-half mile of visibility, airport officials explained in a news release yesterday. But due to the construction project on the airport's Runway 28, a 900-foot ceiling and two miles of visibility are required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The weather systems over the recent three-day period created visibility less than two miles, with ceilings between 500 and 700 feet. As a result, 55 departures and arrivals were cancelled.
The runway project at Cherry Capital Airport is complete except for the FAA navigational equipment. However, due to the shutdown FAA engineers have been furloughed creating an inability to completely restore full capabilities of the FAA's instrument landing system. Airport officials are working with the FAA to request the services be restored as soon as possible.