Carson City Airport's busiest week of the year has turned out to be one of its biggest duds with the grounding of airplanes nationwide following Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
On Friday, airport manager Yvonne Weaver said air traffic out of Carson City was limited to some state airplanes, with the ability for commercial operators to fly.
Usually during the week of the Reno Air Races, private parties start streaming into the airport on Wednesday in preparation for the Thursday start, she said. Because the halt to air transportation was put in place Tuesday, the airport is virtually empty of visiting pilots.
Weaver noted only three airplanes tied down on the tarmac. After several days of deliberation, the air races were canceled Friday.
"I haven't received any indication (from the Federal Aviation Administration) as to what the time line is for starting back up," she said. "It's been real quiet here. Ordinarily our ramp would be packed with the air races."
As of Friday afternoon, Weaver was anticipating general aviators would be given the green light to fly. The bulk of pilots who use the Carson City Airport are private, with single-engine airplanes. A handful of private corporate jets also fly out of the airport.
Airport managers have been in touch with flight services in Reno and were awaiting a response.
Because the airport's two fuel stations anticipated the influx of airport traffic, the tanks are full, but there it sits. John Kelly at El Aero Services, a Chevron station, said he has an inventory of 5,000 gallons.
"We are going to roll with the punches and not worry about it," he said. Right now aviation combustion fuel is priced at $2.45 a gallon, and jet fuel at $2.46.
Meanwhile, pilots flying with instrumentation are being given "Squawk" codes and being asked to file an instrument flight review to facilitate tracking by air traffic controllers.