LOCAL NEWS

Provo Airport reopens following fatal crash investigation, cleanup

Jan 4, 2023, 2:52 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 6:10 am

PROVO, Utah — The Provo Airport reopened Wednesday following an evaluation of a deadly plane crash that happened two days earlier. That’s according to a statement from Provo Airport Director Brian Torgersen.

In that statement, Torgersen said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board authorized the airport to begin cleanup efforts following their evaluation.

“Airport personnel, along with additional assistance from Provo Public Works crews completed cleanup and remediation of the runway safety area at approximately 11 a.m.”

Commercial flights from Allegiant and Breeze will resume Thursday morning in Provo.

Over the last three days, 29 flights were canceled at the airport, which led to frustrations and extra costs for travelers.

“Kids are about to start school, work, I have to get back to the Bay Area,” said Franklin Herbas, who bought tickets to fly back to California from Salt Lake City after his flight from Provo was canceled.

“It definitely threw a wrench in our plans — had to coordinate with people who had our kids and dog sitters,” said McKenzie Deakins whose return flight from Houston was canceled. “The cost of staying another couple of days wasn’t great.”

Deakins said the last-minute ticket to fly into Salt Lake City was about three times as much as she originally paid.

“Definitely not in the budget, wasn’t planning on it. Not fun,” she said.

Thursday is shaping up to be a busy day as the airlines work to make up for all those canceled flights.

“They’re adding several extra flights,” said airport director Brian Torgerson. “They’re bringing in planes empty just to get folks out. I’ve heard the number as many as five aircraft, bringing them in first thing in the morning to get those crowds of people back home.”

Breeze and Allegiant both told KSL TV that passengers will have the option for a full refund for the canceled flights.

The fatal crash occurred at approximately 11:35 a.m. Monday, immediately after takeoff.

Nathan Ricks, a Utah entrepreneur and businessman, was killed in the crash, while 51-year-old Brent Beardall suffered critical injuries. Ricks’ wife and another friend sustained minor injuries.

According to a statement from Torgersen on Tuesday, Beardall is expected to recover.

Top Nu Skin distributor killed in plane crash at Provo Airport

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Provo Airport reopens following fatal crash investigation, cleanup