Flights Resume After Winter Storm Temporarily Closes Sioux Falls Airport
Sioux Falls, S.D.- “Well it’s pretty rare. I was trying to think, it’s been five or six years, we had a Christmas blizzard I think was the last time we actually closed for an extended period of time,” says Sioux Falls Regional Airport Executive Director Dan Letellier.
With a combination of heavy wind, snow and low visibility, the Sioux Falls Regional Airport was forced to cancel and delay flights.
Airport officials say they came to a decision late Sunday night to close until the weather calmed down.
Letellier says the safety of the passengers and airport employees is the top priority.
“We really didn’t want hundreds of people, travelers, employees trying to risk their lives just getting to the airport for flights that may not operate anyway,” says Letellier.
Letellier estimates that five to six flights were cancelled, including arrivals and departures to and from Minneapolis.
Several more were delayed, but things got back to normal by the afternoon.
Fortunately, many guests who were stranded had a place to stay nearby, the Aerostay hotel located right next to the airport.
Staff members say this is the first time they’ve experienced an airport closure in the three years they’ve been open.
While the storm created headaches for travelers, it kept the Aerostay busy. The hotel was nearly full overnight.
“Anytime there is weather, we definitely benefit from it. All of the guests that stay enjoy that we’re here because of those weather alterations as well,” says General Manager Rachel Hatch.