Kelowna Airport Director Remembering 9/11
On Saturday, it will be 20 years since the terror attacks of 9/11.
Kelowna International Aiport Director Sam Samaddar was deputy manager then.
He ended up having to take the lead that day because airport managers across the country were at a conference.
“It was the deputy of their respective airports across North America that ended up dealing with the logistics and operations, because the CO’s ended up being stranded in Montreal. There were no flights in North American air space.”
Samaddar says 33,000 diverted passengers and 200 aircrafts were landed in Canada as airspace was cleared.
“When you look at the entire airspace being closed in North America, that was something that we never had to deal with before. We have emergency procedures and emergency plans of course, and we put those things in motion, but really the guidance we got was from transport Canada.”
Samaddar says there was a lot of new security measures once airspace began to re-open.
“Kelowna actually led the way in a lot of these initiatives. Things like biometrics of people’s badges for staff were piloted right here in Kelowna and also the innovation using the millimeter wave technology… it was actually all tested here in Kelowna before being deployed throughout the world.”