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Fog Still Hampering Seattle Travel, Kennedy Visit Canceled

December 23, 1985

SEATTLE (AP) _ Thick fog plagued Christmas travelers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport again Sunday, reducing air traffic and forcing Sen. Edward Kennedy to cancel a visit.

Fog lifted somewhat in the afternoon and visibility increased to about a mile, allowing less than a dozen planes to land and take off Sunday through 3 p.m., said Donna Wilson, a Sea-Tac spokeswoman.

By 6 p.m., normal traffic was resuming, supervisor Abner Thomas in the Sea- Tac control tower said.

″It looks pretty darn good,″ airport operations controller Jim Egan said. ″They’re taking off and landing without any problem. There are too many to count.″

The break in the fog was good news for thousands of holiday travelers whose flights had been canceled or delayed since Wednesday.

Roger Kleinsasser, area supervisor for the Federal Aviation Administration, said more fog was expected Sunday night, ″but right now what they’re looking at is pretty good.″

The airport normally handles about 600 flights daily but fog has restricted flights since Wednesday.

Kennedy, D-Mass., had been scheduled to land at Sea-Tac on Saturday night, but his chartered plane was diverted to Portland, Ore. On Sunday, his flight again was unable to land, so his appearances in Seattle and Tacoma were canceled and he flew instead to Atlanta to resume his schedule, said his aide, Debbie Curtis.

Airport supervisor Henry Hampton said the fog lifted enough Saturday morning for normal operations much of the day, but numerous flights had to be diverted when the fog intensified again after nightfall.

Holiday travelers waited in long lines on standby for the few open airline seats at one of the most heavily booked times of the year.

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