Why Fog Interrupts Travel for the R.V. International Medford Airport

, Written by RaeAnn Christensen, Posted: Mon, December 30 2013 at 6:37 PM, Updated: Mon, December 30 2013 at 6:48 PM

It's a question many holiday travelers at the Rogue Valley International Medford airport are asking.

Traveler Robert Straitt says "I'm curious as to why the pilots can't take off and land in the fog."     

Pilot Monte George says there are a few answers to that question. But first and foremost, it comes down to how well they can see.

He says "basically it boils down to visibility, how much visibility do you have, if you don't have enough, you can't land or take off."    

The Federal Aviation Administration has standard minimums for visibility and if they're not met, all planes are grounded.

George says "the bigger the airplane the faster that it lands, the requirements usually go up in visibility, so some of your smaller aircraft actually have an advantage."

Taking off is easier than landing.

George says "when we have this fog that sits down low in the valley and the visibility gets down to under a mile then it creates a problem to land."         

So while taking off may not be an issue. The ability to turn around and make an emergency landing can mean the difference between life and death.        

George says "that's number one, keep yourself and your passengers safe, safety is always an issue."

A pilot responsibility they say is more important than getting anyone, anywhere, on time.

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About the Author

RaeAnn Christensen

NBC 5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster RaeAnn Christensen earned a Bachelors degree from Weber State University, majoring in Communications and Broadcast Journalism.

RaeAnn started her career as a Producer for two local stations where she grew up in Utah. Working for the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, she won local awards for producing, and also became an Emmy award winning producer.

RaeAnn enjoys traveling, hiking, biking, cooking, country dancing, and spending time with her family and friends.

Catch RaeAnn's weekend weather forecasts for Southern Oregon and Northern California Saturdays and Sundays at 6pm and 11pm. Also online at KOBI5.com/Weather

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