SoCal Fires and Flights Ops

Hey All, does the smoke and air traffic in California due to the fires affect the Airlines like it does General Aviation? My initial thoughts is no impact since you are either flying above it or IFR routed anyway. Does the smoke climb high enough to be a concern or is it an issue for ascent/descent? I was just driving through some of it this weekend saw the jets coming in and out of LAX. With the Santa Ana’s changing runway direction I thought it might put you in the smoke leaving the basin. Thanks again for the cumulative knowledge you all provide.


The smoke generally does not rise that high and usually isn’t much of an issue for us. It can restrict visibility, which of course forces us into instrument approaches instead of visual, but it isn’t a big deal. That being said, I would not fly through the primary smoke plume, but the widespread stuff is okay.

Now volcanic ash is a whole different situation. Airlines will not fly anywhere near it as it can cause major damage to turbine engines, up to causing inflight engine failure.


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Not at this point. Obviously if the fires were to get very close to the airport it could be an issue. As Chris said at this point it simply reduces visibility and may also require some rerouting to give way to planes actually fighting the fires.