Yakima Airport Operations Impacted by Traffic Accident

Commercial flights at Yakima Air Terminal-McAllister Field are temporarily canceled due to a motor vehicle accident early this morning, Friday, May 20th, that resulted in serious injuries to the driver and passenger.

At about 3:00 am this morning, the driver of a vehicle traveling at an extremely high rate of speed eastbound on Washington Avenue was unable to maintain control of the vehicle through the curve at 24th Avenue, Yakima Fire Department (YFD) reported. The vehicle veered off the road. At that point, it impacted the air traffic control tower.

The passenger and driver were both transported to the hospital with extensive injuries. The driver sustained life-threatening injuries, the Yakima Police Department (YPD) reported this morning via social media.

Yakima Airport air terminal, air traffic control tower and local businesses on the east end of the airport remain without power at this time. The loss of power has resulted in temporary cancellations of commercial flights to and from the airport.

“Our weather station is controlled by the tower and without power Alaska Airlines is unable to obtain the weather reports it needs to dispatch aircraft out of Seattle,” said Yakima Airport Operations and Maintenance Manager Jaime Vera.

Vera said two transformers are being installed and the underground wiring is being inspected to see if it was damaged.

The airport is also awaiting clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). “The FAA will bring in an engineer to inspect the air traffic control tower to make sure it is structurally sound,” Vera said.

Power is available on the airfield via a back-up generator. “General aviation and corporate aircraft are able to access the airport runway, but pilots must announce their locations,” Vera said.

The timeline for restoring full operations at Yakima Airport is unknown at this time.

Visit https://flyykm.com/ for the latest flight information.

Agencies responding to this morning’s traffic accident included YPD, YFD and the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, other agencies contacted or involved in this morning’s response included AMR, ALS, airport management and maintenance staff, City of Yakima Building Codes and the City’s Streets and Traffic Operations Division.