The presence of ash from the Turrialba volcano in the vicinity of the Juan Santamaría (San Jose) airport affected the departure of at least five flights this Wednesday morning, confirmed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the operations department of Aeris, the airport manager.

View of the Turrialba volcano eruption this Wednesday from Coliblanco de Alvarado at 6:20 am / Image Marco Tulio Zúñiga, La Nacion

The flights that had delays were two from American Airlines, flights 2436 and 1204 to Florida, two from Copa Airlines, flights 193 and 164 to Panama, and one from Avianca to Guatemala, flight 738.

All have already taken off, when the weather conditions improved, according to independent reports from Aeris and Civil Aviation.

In addition, Copa’s the incoming flight 392 from Panama was diverted to Liberia.

Aeris stressed the San Jose airport remains open and operating with absolute normality. Airlines, however, will value weather forecast and decide to ground or delay flight departure and divert incoming to nearby airports.

In the case of Avianca flight 696 to Bogota, passengers were asked to deplane while waiting for takeoff, which occurred about 30 minutes after the 8:15 am scheduled departures. Avianca reported no delays in other flights this morning.

The airlines chose to delay (and divert) flights following an alert from the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) – national weather service – on the forecast of ash dispersal due to the Turrialba volcano’s latest eruption that blew ash between 3,400 and 5,000 meters above seal level (some 500 meters about the crater).

This is the first time this year that the Colossus has affected flights at the Juan Santamaria. In 2016 and 2017, the volcano activity affected airport operations on several occasions each year.


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