Denver airport ground stops rise for summer travel

DENVER (KDVR) — Data from the Federal Aviation Administration shows a spike in issued ground stops at Denver International Airport this summer.

A ground stop is when flights destined for the affected airport are held at their departure point, according to the FAA. This can happen for a number of reasons, including issues with air traffic control or severe weather.

In April, there were four issued ground stops, according to the FAA. That number jumped to 21 issued ground stops in May, 18 in June and 25 in July. 

Here is the number of Denver airport ground stops issued each month so far in 2023: 

  • January: 7
  • February: 2 
  • March: 4 
  • April: 4 
  • May: 21 
  • June: 18 
  • July: 25 
  • August: 6 

Weather top of mind for travelers

FOX31 spoke to passengers who said the numbers were shocking. 

“Summer, I wouldn’t expect it,” traveler Kyler Leen said.

Other travelers told FOX31 they’ve only dealt with minor delays, but with the recent thunderstorms, they’re always keeping an eye on the weather. 

“Our flight got delayed a little bit, but we’re planning on grabbing some food beforehand anyways, so I think we’ll be OK,” Sam Babcock said.

Lightning near Denver international Airport (Photo credit: Brandon Murphy)

And for others, it’s all about perspective.  

“I mean, it’s just kind of where the wind takes me at this point,” Libby Murphy said. “If it happens, it happens.”

FOX31 reached out to the FAA to determine how many of these issued ground stops were weather-related. They said they’ll gather the data and should have information soon.

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