Air traffic was the common cause of delays of flights. However, this time the cause of delay was a 450-pound seal who blocked the airport runway in Alaska.
On Monday, the staff of the Alaskan airport stopped the flights because of the unexpected visitor that lie down and sunbathed on the airport runway. A big bearded seal with mustache was completely splayed out on the tarmac without being aware of his surroundings.
The airport is near the small Arctic Ocean community of Utqiagvik, which is located on the northern coast of Alaska, was used to caribou, musk ox, and polar bears visiting their landing strip. It was the first time that a seal made an appearance on the runway of the Alaskan airport.
Airport officials from different parts of the world always keep an eye out for animals visiting onto the tarmac for the safety of both passengers and the wildlife. According to Meadow Bailey, the Alaska Department of Transportation communications director, “Wildlife strikes to aircraft pose a significant safety hazard and cost the aviation industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Birds make up over 90% of strikes in the US, while mammal strikes are rare.”
Bailey also believed that the heavy rains caused the big seal to end up at the Wiley-Post Will Rogers Memorial Airport. However, the Department of Transportation in Alaska is not allowed to handle issues regarding marine mammals. The airport staff called the North Slope Animal Control in order to safely transport the friendly seal.
The seal was removed by sled which allowed the air traffic to resume immediately. On Monday, the Department of Transportation issued a “low sealing” warning at the airport. Low ceiling warning means that there is a poor visibility and low clouds. However, it was a different interpretation this time because it was literally “low sealing” pertaining to the seal at the runway.
Furthermore, Scott Babcock, the Wiley Airport foreman, shared a video footage and photo of the big seal at the runway with the caption “FOD,” which stands for “Foreign Object Debris.”
See the video below:
Posted by Scott Babcock on Monday, October 23, 2017